On Thursday night the number of fires dealt with over the course of the three days numbered around 200, with upward of 75,000 residents being evacuated from their homes in Haifa.
Israel continued to battle fires in different parts of the country on Friday, with outbreaks reported in Beit Meir in the Jerusalem hills, and near Kiryat Gat in the South of the country.
At 6:25 Friday morning Jerusalem Police reported that the Beit Meir fire was a result of arson, and two suspects had been arrested in connection with the incident. A third person escaped the scene and is being sought by Police.
Also on Friday morning, Channel 10 reported that the results of an investigation into Thursday’s fire in Zichron Yaakov, saying that the blaze was caused “indisputably” by arsonists.
On Thursday night the number of fires dealt with over the course of the three days numbered around 200, with upward of 75,000 residents being evacuated from their homes in Haifa and thousands more across the country, until Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan declared the general situation “under control” late at night.
Magen David Adom said it treated more than 90 people for light smoke inhalation, and transferred them to hospitals, which remained on high alert throughout the day. At least one person was treated for moderate injuries.
There were no deaths or critical injuries, police said.
An estimated 750 hectares (1,850 acres) of forests and rural areas have been destroyed in Zichron Ya’acov, Neveh Shalom, Modi’in, Neveh Ilan and Nataf, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund’s fire-fighting services said.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) confirmed that it is investigating the fires to determine whether they are the result of arson.
“The Shin Bet along with the police have detained several suspects who were taken in for questioning in connection with possible arson fires that affected multiple places areas across the country,” read a statement released by authorities.
The Palestinian Authority’s Civil Defense service said that the Israeli government had asked for assistance in fighting the fires, and that it had agreed to help for humanitarian reasons.
It had done so as well during the massive fire in the Carmel Forest in 2011.
A number of blazes also broke out in the Palestinian territories near Ramallah and Nablus.
Daniel K. Eisenbud, Anna Ahronheim and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.