Yerushalayim Forest Fire Forces Yad Vashem Evacuation


20110717073823A forest fire in Yerushalayim forced the evacuation of visitors and workers from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on Sunday as firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control, a police spokesman said.Two Yad Vashem maintenance workers were evacuated to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation although the fire had not actually encroached on the memorial campus, a Yad Vashem spokeswoman said.

“Those (overcome by smoke) are Yad Vashem maintenance people trying to help out … (the fire is) very close but not on campus itself,” spokeswoman Estee Yaari said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a number of fire appliances and aircraft were deployed and had largely brought the blaze under control.

National Fire Chief Shachar Ayalon said Sunday afternoon that the fire broke out in four places.

Multiple ignition sites are usually an indication of arson, although there have been no preliminary reports from investigators.

One of the major concerns is that the fire could reach Jerusalem’s Pi Glilot, a fuel storage area near Har Nof. Ayalon said that one container at Pi Glilot contains liquid fuel and others are empty but contain fumes.

In addition to crews from Jerusalem and points in the immediate vicinity, fire fighters were also brought in from Ramle and Tel Aviv. Israel’s airborne fire fighting squadron has been fighting the blaze along with the ground based fire fighting forces.

{News Agencies/ Newscenter}