“The dry heat combined with a light wind” caused the Jerusalem forest “blaze to spread quickly as eight firefighting crews along with two planes attempted to gain control over the blaze.” wrote Israeli reporter Sharon Udasin.
Yad Vashem was evacuated as the inferno that broke out in the Mount Herzl area began to spread towards Har Nof, Bayit Vegan and the Pi Glilot oil refinery.
Haaretz reported that “one worker suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital.” The Fire Department spokesman said on Channel 10, “large teams of firefighters have been deployed in the entire area, and curious onlookers should clear out. Firefighting planes are flying above us in an attempt to put out the fire.”
Director of Yad Vashem said:
“The firefighters took an hour from the moment we notified them. They arrived very tardily. Our maintenance teams stopped the fire at the last minute…The fire reached a distance of just 40 meters from the Yad Vashem archives. We stopped it just before it could destroy our most precious treasures. I don’t know and don’t want to think what would have happened if we hadn’t stopped it.”
Last Saturday, a fire broke out near the Church of Capernaum on Lake Kinneret’s northern shore, causing damage to banana groves. The fire started in a brush-field near Route 87.