Wildfire sweeps through hills near Jerusalem, burns 74 acres

The wildfire in the hills near Jerusalem. Credit: Israel Hayom video.

(JNS.org) Dozens of firefighting teams rushed to the hills surrounding Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon as a wildfire broke out near Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and the community of Even Sapir.

Due to the hot, dry weather, firefighters feared the blaze would reach both the hospital and Even Sapir, and evacuated residents from the community. Some damage was caused to houses in the area. Over the course of the day, a total of 69 firefighting teams—including 160 staff and volunteers, five Jewish National Fund teams, five Israeli Air Force teams, and 13 firefighting planes—became involved in the efforts to put out the fire.

A total of 74 acres were burned. Some of the houses affected contained asbestos, prompting warnings for nearby residents to remain indoors to avoid potentially toxic air pollution.

“The firefighters worked bravely,” said Eyal Cohen, deputy head of the Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services, Israel Hayom reported. “The assistance we received from all the fire and rescue departments and emergency services helped stop the fire from spreading and prevented a much bigger disaster.”

Posted on August 3, 2015 .