Several structures, porches, and gas cylinders were ablaze, spreading to nearby yards and houses.
Jerusalem: A massive fire has been spreading in the northern Israel since Tuesday.
Fire has been spread across the central and northern regions of Israel and parts of the West Bank.
Dry conditions and high winds have made the situation worse. According to latest figures, there were 30 reports of light injury due to smoke inhalation.
Earlier Thursday morning, authorities evacuated hundreds of residents from several streets in the city’s northern Mount Carmel neighborhood of Romema. Additional fires broke out in the Ramot Sappir neighborhood of Haifa, prompting a nearby kindergarten to evacuate.
The University of Haifa was also evacuated on as a precautionary move as fires raged in the northern city.
Fires also broke out in an open field bordering Haifa’s main fire station. Flames from burning brush spread to parked cars and nearby warehouses and have crossed the road.
Flames up to 10 metres (more than 30 feet) high were threatening several multi-storey tower blocks in one Haifa suburb, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.
Highway 22 and the Paz Bridge have both been closed to traffic, and the police reported two injuries in the area. All forces were working to control the flames.
Sections of road 443 near Shilat junction were closed to traffic Thursday morning due to the fire raging near Neve Ilan.
Another fire broke out in Modi’in, the Israeli Police Foreign Press Office reported Thursday morning. Four police cars, eight fire trucks, and two planes were dispatched to handle the fire and prevent injury to residents. Several Modi’in schools were closed, and the Klil Hahoresh, Dotan Valley, and Yair Peleg roads were closed to traffic.
In addition, trains between the northern towns of Binyamina and Hadera were halted at the request of fire and rescue services as fires neared the railway tracks in the Caesarea region.
Firefighting Teams unable to control fire:
Seven firefighting teams were also working to control a fire approaching the Rishonim junction near the central town of Rishon Lezion and prevent it from reaching nearby warehouses and a gas station.
Also on Army Radio, Shimon Ben Ner, a senior Haifa firefighter, said “I know for a fact that they tried to set fire to the department’s station in Haifa deliberately to cause the Haifa fire department to be paralyzed.”
Additionally, the Israel Electric Company declared a state of alert. Several power-lines and company substations were damaged due to the fires, resulting in temporary power cuts and other safety issues. Another fire erupted in the vicinity of the Orot Rabin power station in Hadera.
Four planes and 49 staff members have arrived from Cyprus and Greece to aid in fighting the fire. Minister Erdan was due to meet with the pilots who came from Greece overnight.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Wednesday’s fire in Nataf started shortly after 9 a.m., adding that four suspects who may have started the conflagration are being questioned, and will appear before a Jerusalem court Thursday morning.
“The fire quickly spread from a road where construction was being done, and police and fire crews immediately responded,” said Rosenfeld.
“Over 200 people were evacuated from the area, where approximately six houses went up in flames. Thankfully, there were no injuries,” he added.
Rosenfeld said 30 fire crews, aided by at least six planes and a police helicopter, battled that blaze for nearly six hours, finally containing it on Wednesday evening.