About 400 Families Evacuated as Forest Fire Rages Near Jerusalem

Dozens of firefighting teams from around the country are trying to control the blaze, as smoke wafts toward nearby settlements

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The fire near Tzur Hadassah, Friday.
The fire near Tzur Hadassah, Friday.Credit: Judea and Samarea Fire and Rescue Services

About 400 families have been evacuated from their homes due to a forest fire that broke out near Jerusalem.

Residents of Tzur Hadassah have been brought to a gymnasium in an area relatively far from the blaze, as firefighting teams from throughout the country try to bring it under control. 

One firefighting crew is focusing its efforts in Tzur Hadassah, and another on Mount Kitron. In addition to the teams on the ground, ten police firefighting planes are also working to extinguish the blaze.  

Horses and other animals have been freed from a farm near the fire, and the massive smoke clouds have wafted up to the nearby settlements of Betar Ilit, Gush Etziyon and Efrat. 

The commander of Jeursalem's fire and rescue services, Nissim Twito, said that firefighters are still working to bring down the blaze, "which presents an immediate danger to the homes in the communities. We are afraid of the wind that is expected to begin in the coming hours and is supposed to fan the flames again."