Fires rage out of control across Israel

The fire raging in the foothills of Jerusalem, Wednesday evening, November 23, 2016 (Photo: KNI)

Dry weather and strong winds caused wildfires to spread out of control across the country after a single blaze erupted on Monday night in Neve Shalom near Latrun, followed by separate outbreaks in Zichron Yaakov in the North, Gush Etzion and finally the Jerusalem foothills this morning.

No one has been reported injured but several homes and property have been destroyed. Some neighborhoods have been evacuated while residents in other communities have been warned to prepare to leave if needed.

Fire and Rescue crews are working to get the fire under control, but the unseasonably dry weather, winds and various fire points have kept them spread thin.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan asked for assistance from nearby countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Croatia and Russia, both countries will provide fire-fighting aircraft to help get the fires under control.

Police and the Fire Department spokesmen said the cause of the fires is under investigation.

Please join us in prayer for protection for our Fire and Rescue crews and for residents around Israel, especially those who have already lost so much. And of course, for rain which would be most helpful in extinguishing any fires.

But now, thus says the LORD—
the One who created you, O Jacob,
the One who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you,
I have called you by name, you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you,
or through the rivers,
they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned,
nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
-Isaiah 43:1-3