Middle East

Haifa fire overcome but others rage elsewhere in Israel

  • Firefighters work in Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. A raging wildfire ripped through parts of Israel's third-largest city on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and prompting a rare call-up of hundreds of military reservists to join overstretched police and firefighters. Spreading quickly due to dry, windy weather, the fire quickly spread through Haifa's northern neighborhoods. While there were no serious injuries, several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    Firefighters work in Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. A raging wildfire ripped through parts of Israel's third-largest city on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and prompting a rare call-up of hundreds of military reservists to join overstretched police and firefighters. Spreading quickly due to dry, windy weather, the fire quickly spread through Haifa's northern neighborhoods. While there were no serious injuries, several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • A firefighting plane from Greece fights a wildfire over Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. A raging wildfire ripped through parts of Israel's third-largest city on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and prompting a rare call-up of hundreds of military reservists to join overstretched police and firefighters. Spreading quickly due to dry, windy weather, the fire quickly spread through Haifa's northern neighborhoods. While there were no serious injuries, several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    A firefighting plane from Greece fights a wildfire over Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. A raging wildfire ripped through parts of Israel's third-largest city on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and prompting a rare call-up of hundreds of military reservists to join overstretched police and firefighters. Spreading quickly due to dry, windy weather, the fire quickly spread through Haifa's northern neighborhoods. While there were no serious injuries, several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firefighters work at the site  ofwildfires in Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. The blaze ripped through parts of Israel's third-largest city, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and prompting a rare call-up of hundreds of military reservists to join overstretched police and firefighters. Spreading quickly due to dry, windy weather, the fire quickly spread through Haifa's northern neighborhoods. While there were no serious injuries, several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    Firefighters work at the site ofwildfires in Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. The blaze ripped through parts of Israel's third-largest city, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and prompting a rare call-up of hundreds of military reservists to join overstretched police and firefighters. Spreading quickly due to dry, windy weather, the fire quickly spread through Haifa's northern neighborhoods. While there were no serious injuries, several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

Firefighters have reined in a blaze that spread across Israel's third-largest city of Haifa and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says some 14 small fires were still raging on Friday in several spots around the country.

He says a small village in the forests near Jerusalem was evacuated overnight. Overall, five people have been arrested on suspicion of arson.

The blazes began three days ago at the Neve Shalom community near Jerusalem. Backed by dry, windy weather, they later spread elsewhere near Jerusalem.

Fires also raged in the northern area of Zichron Yaakov. There have been no casualties but hundreds of homes have been damaged.

The country's leaders have raised the possibility that Arab assailants had intentionally set the blazes.