The hazy, hot weather caused an outbreak of dozens of fires across Israel Saturday night, and several fires are still raging Sunday morning, the largest of them in the industrial area Afek in Rosh Ha’ayin, 16 miles east of Tel Aviv.
The fire in Rosh Ha’ayin broke out in a multi-story industrial building on Saturday, at about 5 PM, and is still raging. Parts of the building have collapsed, and firefighters fear the collapse of the entire structure. More than 20 firefighter teams from different towns in central Israel are on the site, but are yet to gain control over the blaze.
During the night firefighter teams put out a fire the started with a Lag Baomer bonfire in Moshav Oriya, near Beit Shemesh.
Lag Baomer bonfires the got out of control were the culprit in numerous local fires that raged across Israel overnight. An exceptionally hot weather, coupled with unexpectedly strong winds, turned many festive outings into anxious dramas.
After a fire that broke out near the Buchman neighborhood of Modi’in, police closed down Begin street, on the south side of the city. The reason, according to police – a Lag Baomer bonfire.
A fire in Ben Shemen Forest on Saturday injured a couple in their 50s, who were taken to Tel Hashomer Hospital. An initial police investigation found the fire began as a harmless barbecue.
“They located the barbecue in a grassy area, ignoring safety guidelines,” a JNF inspector reported. “Soon sparks flew into the grass and the fire began to spread.”
“The husband tried to put out the fire by stepping on it with his feet, but the flames quickly took clothes and he sustained light to medium burns. His wife removed some of her clothes in an attempt to extinguish the flames on her husband, and suffered from smoke inhalation. A fire watchman alerted JNF and Firefighter forces,” the inspector added.
Two fires were reported in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Vulcan Institute in Rishon Letzion. Several fires were ignited in the Kinneret area and on the Golan heights. Airplanes were used to fight the fires there.