An unusual heat wave has sparked several brushfires nationwide Tuesday, as temperatures averaged as high as 39°C (102.2°F) throughout most of the country.
Thee major fires were reported in Gan Yavne, Emek Yizrael, and the Western Galilee, Channel 2 reports. 10 firefighting teams and 4 firefighting planes were dispatched to battle the latter fire, across from Kibbutz Matzova.
Hundreds of dunams have been scorched, including banana fields – and firefighters have yet to contain the blaze – but firefighting staff have announced that there is no danger to communities in the area.
Due to the smoke, however, police have closed Route 70 between Matzova and Shlomi in both lanes.
Ten firefighting teams and 2 firefighting planes are also battling another fire in Tel Yizrael and the surrounding forest, and yet more teams have been dispatched to a fire between Gan Yavne and the Hatzor military base.
In addition, the heat has caused a noticeable jump in water temperatures – as water in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) was found to be 12-15°C (or roughly 20-25°F) hotter than it was on Monday. Nevertheless, the heat wave has not deterred tourists, with tens of thousands reported in Israel's national parks and beaches.