Multiple fires cover Israel, some allegedly caused by Palestinians
Fire engulfs houses in Kfar HaOranim near Modi’in Illit • 5,000 residents of Nof HaGalil reportedly forced to evacuate their homes • Fire Department had said: “There is no control over the fire.”
Multiple fires broke out in several areas across Israel on Friday, with thousands of residents forced to evacuate their homes. While most fires are believed to have been caused due to extreme heat conditions, officials in the Israeli security establishment raised concerns that some fires in the West Bank were the result of deliberate arson by Palestinians.
IDF soldiers were recruited to help wildfire containment efforts and evacuate citizens from residential areas of the country that were under threat.
Friday morning, around 25 fire teams, including volunteers, were called to the area of Kfar HaOranim, located near Modi’in Illit to contain wildfires in the area, which engulfed a number of houses. Air support also arrived, and rescue services requested that residents of the village evacuate.
The amount of emergency service workers was not enough, however, and a request was sent for more fire teams and air support in addition to teams already at the scene. The fire department released a statement that read: “There is no control over the fire.”
Police arrived at the scene for the purpose of evacuating people from their homes, and a special unit was opened to coordinate all arriving security and aid forces.
Later Friday afternoon, IDF soldiers from the Ephraim Regional Brigade were recruited to help contain the wildfire and continue evacuation efforts, and the area underwent an assessment by Brigade Commander Col. Yiftach Norkin.
Meanwhile, wildfires broke out near the villages of Umm-al-Qutuf and Umm al-Fahm.
Police officers and fire services arrived at the area, in addition to air support, in attempts to contain the fire and protect the residents of the villages.
Citizens in this villages were also evacuated, traffic redirected and security forces were directed to the area using police helicopters.