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August 15, 2021 6:36 pm
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‘Huge’ Wildfire Near Jerusalem Forces Thousands to Evacuate

avatar by i24 News

A firefighting plane disperses fire retardant as it assists in extinguishing a fire near the Israeli village of Shoresh at the outskirts of Jerusalem August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 News – A massive wildfire broke out in the forest-covered hills outside Jerusalem, spreading quickly due to high winds and necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents.

Police said that the cause of the massive blaze, which broke near the village of Beit Meir, was either arson or negligence, and adding that a criminal probe was launched.

Israel’s Fire and Rescue services stated that all of the residents of Ramat Raziel and Kiryat Ya’arim communities have been evacuated.

Currently, nine firefighter teams are at work in the region with the help of 10 firefighting helicopters and planes. The efforts to douse the “huge” blaze will go on into the night, officials said.

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The smoke from the blaze turned the clouds above the Israeli capital black.

Israel’s Magen David Adom national ambulance service said no injuries were immediately reported.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that “increased caution must be exercised, and in case of danger anyone and everyone must be evacuated.”

The outskirts of Jerusalem have been plagued by bushfires this year, with police citing arson as the cause in several of the incidents.

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