Environmental officials from Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fun (KKL-JNF) estimated that the fire in Jerusalem broke out at two locations in the Ramot Forest and the Cedar Valley. The fire then spread to toward the residential areas of Ramot, Gilo and Mevasseret Zion.
The fire was thought to have been sparked by remnants of bonfires that were lit Wednesday night to mark the eve of the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer.
Residents in parts of northern east Jerusalem’s Ramot area were asked to evacuate their homes due to high winds, as firefighters feared the fire could rapidly spread to residential areas. Residents of two buildings in the south-western east Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo were also evacuated as the flames encroached. Fire and rescue forces also evacuated the first line of houses closest to the blaze in northern Jerusalem’s Mevasseret Zion.
Eighteen fire-fighting and rescue teams and four water-dropping air teams were attempting to control the blazes in the capital.
No injuries had been reported thus far.
In addition, weather conditions caused bush fires to break out in the South, in areas near Ashdod, Asheklon and Kiryat Gat including, Moshav Givati, Yanon, Merkaz Shapira, Be’er Tuvia Sde Uzia and Timorim.