Evacuations at Technion as Fire Threatens

israel fires
Firefighters extinguish a fire in vehicles parked near a forest in the Malha area of Yerushalayim, Wednesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Technion was added to the list of fire-threatened areas as firefighters continued to battle numerous blazes across the country as of late Wednesday afternoon.

At least part of Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology was evacuated because of a large fire in the nearby town of Nesher. The authorities ordered the evauation of the eastern building on campus, including the dormitories, the academic center and the engineering department, The Times of Israel reported.

Several injuries due to smoke inhalation were reported, including a 64-year-old male resident of Or Yehuda, two women, aged 70 and 41, in the Wadi Ara area, and two men, aged 60 and 35, near the Arab town of I’billin in the Lower Galil. None of the injuries were said to be serious.

The fire department said Wednesday night that the large fire that was raging south of Beit Shemesh for most of the day has been brought under control. Residents of Aderet and Roglit that were evacuated are allowed to return home.

Residents of Shavei Shomron who were evacuated earlier in the day were notified by authorities that they will not be able to return to their homes Wednesday night due to the lingering heavy smoke in the area. Some may not be able to return for several days due to extensive damage to infrastructure.

So far, nine buildings are known to have been burned in the community, including the dorms of Homesh Yeshiva and industrial buildings, according to Arutz Sheva.

In Or Yehuda, where several home were badly damaged by fire, an angry dispute broke out over whether the municipality had been negligent in failing to trim bushes and scrub earlier in the summer that fed the flames on Wednesday. Local officials denied the charge, saying they had conducted a thorough job in the fields bordering the town.

Besides 100-degree temperatures, strong winds hampered fire-fighting efforts, grounding much of the country’s fleet of firefighting planes.

Temperatures in Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv reached 38° Celsius (100° Fahrenheit) on Wednesday; Haifa saw temperatures of 35°C (95°F), and Beersheba 41°C (106°F).

The highest temperature in the country was recorded on the southern shores of the Dead Sea, where the mercury reached 49.9° Celsius (122° Fahrenheit), a record for the place.

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