Wildfire continues to burn dunams of Carmel forest

A wildfire that erupted on Tuesday afternoon was still burning nine hours later on the lower western slopes of the Carmel, devouring hundreds of dunams of natural forest into the early hours of Wednesday morning. Twenty-six firefighting crews were battling the blaze, but planes were grounded after sunset. Firefighters estimated that the flames would only be extinguished overnight. The billowing clouds of smoke hampered visibility, prompting police to close Highway 4 between Fureidis and Atlit Junctions. The road was later reopened. Police are investigating whether an IDF training exercise, which involved a live shooting range, sparked the flames.