Forest fire rages near Jerusalem, police investigating arson

Police say there have been three fires in the area in the past week; four planes part of effort to get blaze under control.

July 4, 2015 14:39
Burnt forest near Ma'ale Hahamisha, July 4, 2015

Burnt forest near Ma'ale Hahamisha, July 4, 2015. (photo credit: FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE)

A large forest fire at Kibbutz Ma'ale Hahamisha in the Judean Hills near Jerusalem was threatening homes in the village, the Israel Fire Service reported on Saturday.

Ten fire crews including four planes were battling the flames.

Earlier in the day, authorities evacuated the popular swimming pool at the Kibbutz as a precautionary measure.

Police said Saturday's fire was the third fire in the area in the last week and it was investigating the possibility that the fires were intentionally started by residents of the nearby Palestinian village of Bidu, Israel Radio reported.

There were no reported injuries due to the blaze. 

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