In the first big heat wave of the year in Israel, numerous fires broke out in Yerushalayim, the north and elsewhere, and there was suspicion that not only the tinderbox weather but terrorists were to blame.
In Yerushalayim, several fires broke out, including a large one on Highway 1, causing smoke to engulf nearby villages and disrupt traffic between the capital and Tel Aviv in the morning.
The blaze spread from the hills near the Givat Shaul cemetery to nearby Emek Ha’arazim.
Brush fires in the Golan Heights, the Galil and Wadi Ara near Haifa damaged hundreds of acres, but b’chasdei Shamayim, no one was injured and no damage to homes was reported.
Near Moshav Beit Yehoshua, just south of Netanya, a brushfire set several cars on fire and forced road closings as firefighters fought the flames.
In the central region, fires were reported in Adam, near Yerushalayim, and Achiezer, near Ben-Gurion airport, where 11 firefighting teams were dispatched to keep the blaze spreading to a dense residential and industrial area.
In the south, a large brush fire was reported near Moshav Ra’anan in the Negev.
Although so many fires at once caused suspicion of arson, there was no immediate evidence of it.
Temperatures in Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Netanya reached 105˚ Fahrenheit on Monday afternoon, and slightly higher in the Negev and Jordan Valley.
The heat wave was predicted to ease on Wednesday, and by Thursday seasonable temperatures should return.