Israel — Two hikers were lightly injured Saturday after a fire broke out in the Ben Shemen Forest, near Modiin. The two, in their fifties, suffered minor burns and were transferred to Asaf Harofeh Hospital for treatment.
Firefighters from the Ayalon Fire Department were rushed to the forest and managed to put out the flames, which apparently broke out because of a neglected barbecue.
Sixteen firefighting crews were also called up to battle a fire in a Rosh Haayin auto parts depot that later spread to a neighboring printing establishment. Residents were instructed to remain indoors and keep their windows shut.
Near Yavniel, four firefighter teams from the Tiberias Fire Department managed to put out a blaze that broke out earlier Saturday, probably due to a heat wave in the region. The teams were assisted by a firefighting plane.
An additional fire broke out Saturday in the Golan Heights, near the town of Alamagor. Six nearby houses were briefly evacuated for fear that they might catch alight, but the residents were allowed to return home when firefighting crews put out the blaze.
Brush fires were also reported in Haifa and Shoham. A fire also broke out near an amusement park in Rishon Lezion.
No injuries or damage were reported in any of the other fires.
In light of the extremely dry and windy weather conditions, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich ordered to raise the national alert level and reinforce firefighting crews across the country.
Saturday night marks the Jewish holiday of Lag BOmer, which is traditionally celebrated by lighting bonfires. The firefighting services have urged the public to practice caution.