Fire continues to rage out of control near Jerusalem

After suspected case of arson, firefighters still struggling to contain blaze west of the capital, with 4 air units dispatched to the area.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

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צילום: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A fire sparked west of Jerusalem Thursday continues to rage out of control, firefighters said Friday morning.

Jerusalem District Fire Chief Tafsir Nissim Twito held a situational assessment Friday morning on the blaze in the Jerusalem hills west of the capital.

During the assessment, Twito told reporters that firefighters have yet to contain the blaze, but added they are working to take advantage of the “window of opportunity” to extinguish the fire before heavy winds return – a factor which could make containing the fire far more difficult.

“The goal this morning is to take advantage of the window of opportunity and to finish the work of extinguishing the blaze which is still raging in order to prevent it from strengthening with the help of the heavy winds which are expected this afternoon.”

The fire, which broke out Thursday, has been linked to a 30-year-old woman who was arrested Thursday evening.

The woman, a resident of the town of Hashmonai’m who reportedly has a history of mental illness, has also been implicated in a second fire sparked Thursday in the Modi’in area, near Hashmonai’m.

Firefighters worked through the night to try to contain the fire in the Jerusalem hills, with 19 firefighting units on the scene.

Four aircraft are currently working to assist the firefighting efforts.