Massive Jerusalem fire burns forests


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli teens are being blamed for accidentally starting a massive fire near Jerusalem that nearly led to the evacuation of Hadassah Hospital.

The fire, which broke out Sunday afternoon in the hills surrounding the hospital’s Ein Kerem location, burned about 250 acres of forest and resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of residents of three nearby moshavs. Twenty-three cars in the hospital parking lot were damaged by the fire.

Some 30 firefighting units and five firefighting planes worked to control the fire. 

Three teenagers from a Jerusalem-area yeshiva who were hiking inside the Aminadav Forest when they allegedly started the blaze were arrested and questioned. They were released on bail Monday night. The yeshiva head also was questioned, according to the Jerusalem Post. 

A second fire also started in the forest on the same afternoon, according to reports.

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