Thursday, November 24, 2016

Israel fires: Tens of thousands flee as fires hit Haifa

Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes as wildfires rage through parts of the Israeli city of Haifa.

Huge flames are being fanned by hot, dry winds in residential areas in the north of the city of about 250,000.

Fires are also threatening homes near Jerusalem and in the West Bank.

A minister has said that half of the fires were "apparently arson", but police have not confirmed that any had been started deliberately.

Hundreds of military reservists have been called up to help battle the three-day outbreak of fires.

No deaths or serious injuries have been reported, though the national ambulance service said 55 people had been treated for smoke inhalation - 36 of whom had been taken to hospital, Haaretz newspaper reported.

Haifa municipality spokeswoman Or Doron told AFP news agency that 50,000 of the city's residents had left their homes.

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