Firefighters Gain Control of Wildfires in Central and Northern Israel

Blazes come a month after hundreds of homes were evacuated throughout the country over fires amid intense heat wave

Firefighters work in the Beit Shemesh area, August 26, 2019.
Israel Fire and Rescue Services

Fire and rescue services gained control over several wildfires in the city of Beit Shemesh in central Israel and in the towns of Mashhad and Cana, near Nazareth, on Monday.

Police temporarily evacuated residents in Beit Shemesh and Mashhad because of the fires. No damage or injuries were reported.

Hundreds of homes throughout the country were evacuated last month, as fires broke out amid an intense heat wave that brought temperatures to near-record highs. Those fires concentrated in three areas: Or Yehuda, Wadi Ara and Beit Shemesh.

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The Israel Meteorological Service noted then that extreme temperatures have been measured in the past, but the fact that the temperature records have been continuously broken over the past years reflects the fact that global climate change affects not only the average temperature, but extreme weather as well.

"Even though it is difficult to attribute an isolated incident to climate change, according to our best estimates, global warming will continue, and we expect the number of extreme heat waves to rise, and a higher probability of breaking other temperature records," an announcement from the meteorological service read.   

In May, over 15,000 dunams (3,700 acres) of forests and swaths of land burned down in wildfires as 1,700 blazes were extinguished within three days.