Israel –– Five aircraft, 37 firefighting crews take control of blaze that broke out Sunday afternoon. Local residents have been moved out, saying ‘we’re terrified’
Yet another wildfire is threatening residents of the Jerusalem area. A blaze broke out in Ein Hemed, west of the capital, on Sunday. Thirty seven firefighting squads and five aircraft were fighting to get the flames under control.
According to Magen David Adom, four people suffered light injuries from smoke inhalation, including a firefighter who lightly hurt when he fell off a ladder.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch arrived to the scene and said that the fire is under control, except for a few locations.
Earlier, Border Police helped residents of Hamashla and Hapalmach streets in Mevasseret out of their homes.
Freida Yitzhakian said in tears that “the fire is right next to the neighbors’ house and is moving toward mine, I’m scared. We’re terrified, waiting for someone to come and get us out of here. My house is catching on fire.”
Other residents preferred to stay put until the fire got closer.
Police announced that they had set up an emergency command headquarters for all emergency forces at the entrance to Ein Hemed.
The Jerusalem area has been the site of a number of recent wildfires. A week ago, the Jerusalem District Police arrested two youths on suspicion of causing a number of brushfires around the city’s Talpiot and Armon Hanatziv neighborhoods. The two admitted to arson, and one said he had been inspired by the TV crime series “Haborer.”
Two young men from Issawiya have also been arrested on suspicion of causing fires near the Oferit IDF base.
Concern about the risk of wildfires is especially high recently due to the heavy heat wave.
This weekend, a fire that broke out in Snir Park between Kibbutz Maayan Baruch and Kibbutz Hagoshrim in northern Israel prompted rescue services to move some 1,000 hikers out of the Dan and Banias areas and close a number of local roads.
Sunday’s fire. Approaching Mevasseret Zion. (Photo: Yaron Alon)Evacuation of Mevasseret residents (Photo: Noab ‘Dabul’ Dvir)Flames in Mevasseret Zion