Fire Danger to Homes Near Yerushalayim Passes

YERUSHALAYIM -
A fire-fighting plane disperses fire retardant as it assists in extinguishing a fire near Kibbutz Maale Hachamisha, in the outskirts of Yerushalayim on Wednesday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Firefighters said that as of late afternoon on Wednesday the danger the communities of Kibbutz Ma’ale Hahamisha and Yad Hashmona near Yerushalayim have has passed, though they continue to fight the fires.

Two wildfires broke out in the hills around the capital, which necessitated sending 10 firefighting aircraft, two helicopters and over 70 firefighting teams operating at three locations, according to media reports.

Arson is suspected and police are investigating, according to Army Radio.

Israel Railways reported that service on the high speed Yerushalayim-Tel Aviv route has fully resumed, after sections were closed due to the fires.

Police have also reopened parts of Route 1 that were shut.

Some residents of communities in the hills surrounding Yerushalayim were evacuated from their homes earlier in the day.

The Yerushalayim District Fire Brigade said that the fire broke out on Mount Haruach, near the communities of Neve Ilan, Ma’ale Hachamishah and Abu Ghosh.

The fire spread soon after to nearby Mount Eitan and was nearing homes in Yad Hashmona and Abu Ghosh.