The forested hills of Jerusalem are alive with the sounds of crackling as a wild fire blocks a main artery leading to the holy city.
Firefighters are battling the blaze, which was blocking Route 1 on Monday as IDF aerial firefighters swung into action.
The area has been experiencing a heat wave, which officials said may have contributed to the start of the fire.
A fire was also reported on the slopes at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Emek Ha’Arazim, closing off traffic to the nearby tunnel in the area. Firefighters and police were on the scene there as well.
Five fire trucks headed for the entrance of Jerusalem as reports of another fire breaking out came in to central dispatch.
A Christian center in Jerusalem was also set ablaze and vandalized on Monday as well.
Two synagogues in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev were also deliberately set on fire, officials said. An investigation was launched, but no arrests have been made thus far.
In fact, fires have been popping up all over the capital. The country is extremely dry due to current weather conditions, making the area vulnerable to brush fires — or, for that matter, any attempted arson by terrorists as has happened in the past.
A mini-van went up in flames yesterday near the A-Zaim checkpoint, according to the Israel Hatzoloh medical emergency organization. Firefighters extinguished the blaze.