Northern Town Briefly Evacuated in Second Day of Wildfires Across Israel

No casualties reported, but some damage in forest fire near the Galilee town of Ma'alot-Tarshiha

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Firefighters near Ma'alot-Tarshiha, in northern Israel, on Sunday.
Firefighters near Ma'alot-Tarshiha, in northern Israel, on Sunday.Credit: Fadi Amun

Emergency services brought a forest fire in northern Israel under control, after several dozen houses in the Galilee town of Ma'alot-Tarshiha were evacuated in the early hours of Sunday, a day after several wildfires in northern and central Israel, fanned by high heat and heavy winds, were put out.

Israel's Fire and Rescue Service said it no longer fears damage to houses. No casualties were reported.

Forces in the Ma'alot-Tarshiha area, on Sunday.Credit: Fire and Rescue Service

The fire began in a forest on the outskirts of the town. According to the police, one car caught flames and several businesses were damaged.

Ibrahim Odeh, a resident of Ma'alot-Tarshiha who had to evacuate, said "everything was covered in smoke. We saw the fire moving in an unbelievable speed. We called the fire department, and they got to us right as the fire was reaching the house."

The local municipality invited residents to stay at a local gym until the flames subside.

An olive tree on fire near Ma'alot-Tarshiha on Sunday Credit: Israel Police

On Saturday more than 100 families were evacuated in a different area of the Galilee, due to what the fire department suspect was arson.

Another fire broke out near the town of Zeitan, near the Ben-Gurion International Airport, in central Israel. Fires also broke out in the Jerusalem Hills but were subdued by fire and rescue teams with no reported injuries.

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