Jerusalem, Israel: As firefighters battled wildfires near Jerusalem, which forced hundreds to evacuate their homes for a second day, Israeli leaders, on Tuesday, cancelled appeals for international allies for help, as the fires are reported under control.
Some 75 firefighting teams, supported by 12 planes, worked to contain fires in forested hills west of Jerusalem, Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service stated.
According to official tallies, around 6.5 square miles of forrest have been destroyed, making the wildfires some of the largest in the country’s history.
After assisting Greece in battling its own wildfires, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke to Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias to ask for additional firefighting aircraft.
Israel also had reached out to Cyprus, Italy and France, as well as other countries to request possible assistance, Lapid stated.
Fueled by winds and extremely dry conditions after a hot summer, the fires raged out of control, forcing residents of several communities to evacuate their homes on Sunday. Additional evacuations took place on Monday.
With the fires sending thick black smoke over Jerusalem, the Environmental Protection Ministry warned residents of the risk of air pollution and advised against staying outdoors for long periods.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the wildfires.