Wildfires again began raging in the Judean Hills around the Israeli capital this weekend.
On Sunday, residents of the Jerusalem suburb of Even Sapir were evacuated from their homes in the face of a roaring wildfire that threatened their area. Several of the homes already caught fire, officials said in the early afternoon on Sunday (August 2).
Brush fires also were raging between the Jewish communities of Tzur Hadassah and Beitar Illit, in the Judean Hills.
Dozens of firefighters rushed to combat the blaze near the western flank of the capital, near the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center. Authorities have said, however, that the hospital is in no immediate danger thus far.
Four firefighting aircraft are attempting to extinguish the blaze along with the ground crews.
Additional firefighting forces have been placed on alert as well. The Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, Highway 1, has been blocked off as well, for safety reasons.
A wildfire has also started near the Samaria Jewish community of Elon Moreh – where a similar wildfire got started last week as well.
Just a week ago, firefighting crews managed to extinguish the largest wildfire since the massive Carmel forest fire of 2010. More than 150 firefighters and volunteers spent an entire day protecting homes in the villages of Kfar Uriya, Ta’oz and Tarum from the blaze, which ate of hundreds of dunams around the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh.
Dry conditions and a huge heat wave is causing risky conditions for forest fires in the area.