Large wildfire extinguished in central Israel as heatwave continues

19 May 2020

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ISRAEL – Firefighters were able to gain control over a large wildfire that broke out near the city of Elad and the Nahshonim industrial zone in central Israel on Tuesday, as a historic heatwave continues to afflict the country.

Some 17 crews from the Israel Fire and Rescue Services in Petah Tikva, along with eight crews from the Nature and Parks Authority and eight firefighting planes, worked to battle the flames that were being fanned by strong winds. Some 15,000 hectares of land were burned, mostly within a nature reserve in the area.

The Fire and Rescue Services believes that the fire began at about 10 p.m. on Monday near the Palestinian Authority and progressed toward the area currently affected by the fire, along with another site near Elad. The fire may have been caused by arson.

Overnight, firefighters fought a wildfire in the Ramot neighborhood of Beersheba. Fire and Rescue Services gained control over the fire early in the morning on Tuesday.

The fires came amid a historic heatwave that is expected to keep temperatures throughout Israel near and above 100°F (38°C) until the weekend. It is expected to be the longest and most extreme heatwave ever recorded in Israel.

The temperatures forecast throughout the country for Tuesday are:
>Jerusalem: High: 100°F (38°C), Low: 84°F (29°C)

>Tel Aviv: High: 104°F (40°C), Low: 82°F (28°C)

>Haifa: High: 95°F (35°C), Low: 81°F (27°C)

>Tiberias: High: 109°F (43°C), Low: 77°F (25°C)

>Beersheba: High: 106°F (41°C), Low: 79°F (26°C)

>Eilat: High: 100°F (38°C), Low: 81°F (27°C)

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