By Michael Bachner/TPS
Negohot (TPS) – A massive bushfire caused by an IDF flare raged overnight Saturday in the Mount Hebron region, endangering residential homes in a Jewish community. At first light on Sunday, four firefighting planes dropped water on the blaze to assist the teams on the ground and several hours later the fire was extinguished, without causing any injuries.
According to a Mount Hebron spokesperson, the fire was accidentally started by a flare fired by the IDF to illuminate the area following a report of a suspected terrorist infiltration into the community. The flare helped soldiers conduct a search of the area, which did not yield any results, but then caused the massive fire that damaged agricultural fields and several industrial buildings.
The bushfire started around 2 a.m. at a warehouse and a workshop near the Jewish community of Negohot in the western Mount Hebron region. Eight firefighting teams arrived in the area and tried to prevent the fire from reaching the residential houses in Negohot. Dozens of families from two neighborhoods were evacuated from their homes after the winds directed the fire towards them.
The firefighters’ efforts continued all night, and at dawn four firefighting planes were sent to the area to help gain control over the fire. At about 8 a.m. the forces succeeded in gaining control, and the fire was extinguished shortly thereafter. The evacuated residents returned to their homes and the children went to school as normal.
The low-flying planes fighting the blaze in the Judean hills produced some spectacular images.