Fire officials on Friday reiterated the need for care during the coming days in order to prevent fires during a period when temperatures were unseasonably high, and humidity was extremely low. The conditions were ideal for setting off forest fires in the period before heavy rains would fall after a long hot summer, exacerbated by strong winds that accompanied the heat wave.
On Thursday, numerous brush fires broke out in several areas, most notably near the Golani Junction in northern Israel, and in Nachal Shilo in central Israel. The latter is a nature reserve with a large population of deer, and fire consumed some 500 dunams of forested area before it was brought under control. Officials said that none of the deer were injured or killed. Quick action by firefighters was also able to prevent the fire from consuming a group of old oak trees located in the forest.
The hot and dry weather will continue through Shabbos, and relief may only come on Monday, when a cold front will pass over Israel. Fire officials said that they were on extreme alert for fires that could break out, and would work to prevent the spread of brush fires in order to preserve forests and prevent damage to communities.