Wildfires force hundreds to quit homes in heatwave

INFERNO: A firefighter is beaten back by a forest fire near Moshav Aderet

HUNDREDS of residents were evacuated as extreme heat caused fires to rage across Israel on Wednesday.

At least 15 homes caught fire.

The Aderet and Roglit settlements close to Jerusalem and the Shavei Shomron settlement in the West Bank were evacuated as flames reached houses.

Firefighters were mainly concentrating on three areas — Or Yehuda, Wadi Ara and Bet Shemesh. But strong winds hampered firefighting planes and helicopters.

Two hundred houses in towns around Wadi Ara were evacuated.

Five houses caught fire in Or Yehuda close to Tel Aviv. Several residents were rescued and treated for wounds.

Ten cars were in flames in a car park in Jerusalem’s Malha area.

Students were evacuated from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, where two men were treated for smoke inhalation.

Residents of an institution in Moshav Roglit for people with disabilities were also evacuated.

Fifteen residents had to leave their homes at Neot Kedumim, near Modi’in, and the Mitkan Adam army base was evacuated, too.

The fires come as a result of a heatwave affecting most of the country. Temperatures reached a scorching 49.9 degrees Celsius (121 Fahrenheit).

Magen Dovid Adom reported that more than 120 people were treated for heat stroke, dehydration, fainting and exhaustion.

An eight-year-old boy was in serious condition in hospital due to heat stroke.

In stark contrast to the rest of the country, Eilat experienced unseasonal light rain.

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