Blazes break out across Israel as mercury soars in blistering heatwave

Fires broke out across Israel on Monday, damaging hundreds of acres of land, as the country faced its first serious heatwave of the year.  

With the mercury hitting an average high of 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Farenheit, firefighting crews and three fire-fighting planes battled the flames in the north.  

Hundreds of acres were damaged in brush fires in the Golan Heights, in the Galilee and in Wadi Ara near Haifa. A fire also broke out near Safed, in the Galilee region. No people were hurt in the fires. In all cases, the emergency services managed to get the flames under control, and prevent damage to homes. 

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, a number of fires broke out in the city, including on HaPalmach Street. Emergency services managed to get these under control, too. Route One was briefly closed to traffic between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem following a nearby fire.  

In the south, a large brush fire broke out near Moshav Ra’anan in the Negev. 

The heat wave is set to continue Tuesday. On Wednesday, temperatures will start to drop, though they will still be unseasonably high in the mountains and interior. By Thursday, Israelis will be able to breathe a sigh of relief as temperatures are expected to drop back to seasonable levels.

Magen David Adom emergency services published guidelines on how to stay safe in the stifling heat. They advised people to drink plenty of liquids, wear a hat and put on sunscreen. They urged parents not to leave their children and babies in parked vehicles under any circumstances and advised against doing sports or exerting oneself during the heat of the day. They also urged everyone to pay special attention to the young and the elderly. 


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