- Title: Fires rage across Israel, fuelled by high winds
- Date: 23rd November 2016
- Summary: JERUSALEM (NOVEMBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESMAN MICKEY ROSENFELD (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESMAN MICKEY ROSENFELD SAYING: "At the moment both airplanes as well as firefighters on the ground are dealing with the flames. No injuries have been reported until now and of course we are looking to see whether the fire began as a result of severe weather conditions or whether there are any suspects who could have been behind that and started the fire deliberately."
- Embargoed: 8th December 2016 11:35
- Keywords: Israel fires police
- Location: JERUSALEM/ ZICHRON YAACOV, ISRAEL
- City: JERUSALEM/ ZICHRON YAACOV, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Wildfires/Forest Fires
- Reuters ID: LVA00259O075Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS NOTE: CONTAINS FOOTAGE WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Firefighters, backed by a squad of airplanes, battled flames that burned through the countryside near several communities across Israel, forcing authorities to evacuate areas where a number of homes have been damaged and over a dozen people have been injured.
Strong winds and a dry spell fed the fires on Wednesday (November 23) for a third day, which sprung up in several locations in northern Israel, with the most damage and injuries occurring in the hilltop town of Zichron Yaacov. At least ten people there were injured from smoke inhalation, including two children and two infants, and nearly a dozen homes were burnt, according to an Israeli police spokesperson.
"We are looking to see whether the fire began as a result of severe weather conditions or whether there are any suspects who could have been behind that and started the fire deliberately," said Micky Rosenfeld, police spokesperson.
A second forest fire, nearby Jerusalem caused the entire community of Nataf to be evacuated as flames threatened to spread to other adjacent hilltop communities. Other bush fires have been noted in several communities in northern Israel as well as south, near Kiryat Gat.
With high winds that local forecasters say could reach up to 100 km per hour, there was no sign the fires would let up and no rain is predicted until late next week.
Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the government was looking into the possibility of bringing in further aircraft from Greece and Croatia to help fight the flames.
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