4 firefighters hurt in major blazes

3000 dunams burnt in largest fire since 2006

building on fire (photo credit: illustrative)
building on fire
(photo credit: illustrative)
Major fires which broke out across Israel due to Tuesday's severe heat wave have been extinguished and all major roads have been reopened, police reported.
Jewish National Fund officials announced that Tuesday's fires throughout the country consumed 300,000 trees,  Israel Radio reported Tuesday evening. JNF Director Effi Shtentzler explained that the number of fires occurring on Tuesday was the largest since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. He added that JNF invests more than NIS 20 million every year in the battle against wildfires. Firefighters and JNF workers will remain at the scene of the fire near Beit Shemesh overnight.


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Firefighters battle blazes across Israel

A total of 21 crews as well as 3 fire suppression aircrafts successfully managed to control a large fire that broke out Tuesday afternoon in Beit Shemesh. Thefire, which mainly plagued nearby moshavim,  has consumed 3,000 dunams altogether between Moshav Tirosh, MoshavGefen and Sedot Miha. Five homes were damaged as the blaze spread dangerously close to amilitary base.
Residentsin areas of danger were evacuated from their homes, while fourfirefighters were injured from smoke inhalation. They were treated byHatzala and Magen David Adom crews and one was evacuated to Kaplanhospital in Rehovot.
Melissa Kurtzer, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh, told the Jerusalem PostTuesday evening that the city was thickly covered in smoke. "My soncame back from a friend's house and was so drenched in smoke that hehad to shower and change his clothes as soon as he came inside," shesaid.
Ashkelon fire crewsfought a large fire near Ammonim Junction on Route 4. As a result ofthe fire burning hazardous materials, Route 4 was blocked totraffic by police. No injuries were reported.
In addition, alarge brush fire was burning near Har Kamon. Seven fire crews from theWestern Galilee, as well as JNF workers and one aircraft were able tocontrol the fire. No homes were damaged and in total 50 dunams wereconsumed.
In the area of Muhraka in Park HaCarmel, a firebroke out in the afternoon. Officials suspect the fire was litintentionally as two sources of fire were found in the area. Six Haifafire crews were able to gain control of the fire as a result of theirfast response.  No injuries were reported as 4 dunams were consumed.
Anotherfire broke out near the Tayasim Junction in Yehud. Petach Tikva fireofficials reported that the fire endangered equipment and armamentwarehouses at a local military base. Eight fire crews rushed to thearea with assistance from fire stations from the center of the country.
Nearby,Petach Tikva fire crews fought to control a large field fire on Route40 adjacent to Ben Gurion Airport and Bnei Atrot, with assistance fromRamat Gan, Bnei Brak and Givatayim fire stations.  No injuries werereported. 
A large forest fire burned between Park Sibil andRosh Haayin and began spreading toward a Beduin village in KafrKassem, also on Tuesday afternoon. Six fire crews from Petah Tikva aswell as a fire suppression helicopter attempted to gain control of thefire.  The fire spread to electrical powerlines in the area causing apower outage in the city of Elad.  As a result, several people weretrapped in an elevator, one of which was evacuated to a local hospitalby Yarkon MDA crews.
In the village of Yafiyeh in the North, a fire broke out that endangered homes in the area. Arabs threw rocks at Yizrael fire crews who had approached the blaze, causing them to retreat. No injuries were reported.
Modi'in Illit fire crews battled a large blaze near the Brakhfeld neighborhood. Fire crews worked to control the fire. No injuries were reported.
Rishon Lezion fire crews fought two large fires burning in the eastern and western parts of the city.  No injuries were reported. 
Galilee-Golan fire crews also battled a large fire in Givat Shoshana in Safed.  No injuries were reported.