Fires Contained, After Blazes Force Evacuations in Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -
Smoke from the fire in Yerushalayim Forest, Thursday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A huge forest fire on the western outskirts of Yerushalayim Thursday led to the closure of roads and evacuations from residential neighborhoods that border on the Yerushalayim Forest.

Residents were evacuated in the Beit Hakerem neighborhood, as firefighters battled to stop the blaze’s advance eastward into the city.

Four firefighting planes came to assist the forces deployed to put out the blaze.

Later, a second fire broke out in western Yerushalayim near Lifta, to the west of the Romema neighborhood, near the Sorotzkin/Mattersdorf neighborhood, with firefighters battling to contain the fire there.

Some residents on Panim Meirot Street in the Mattersdorf neighborhood were forced to evacuate due to the heavy smoke. Police also evacuated residents of the Neveh Simcha nursing home in Mattersdorf.

Late in the afternoon, firefighters said they had gained control of both fires that sent billowing smoke into residential areas, and residents were allowed back to their homes.