Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Wednesday said that the government was exploring the possibility of asking countries such as Greece and Croatia to send help in fighting what the fire service has described as the "largest firefighting operation since the Carmel Disaster."
"We are considering whether to implement the agreements of Mutual Assistance with Greece and Croatia and to bring additional firefighting planes to Israel," Erdan said.
The Carmel disaster in 2010 was the deadliest fire in Israeli history, claiming 44 lives. The fire started on Mount Carmel, just south of Haifa, burning 50 square kilometers (12,000 acres) and destroyed 74 buildings.
Over the last 36 hours firefighting teams have been engaged in fierce battles against several fires that have sprung up around Israel, fueled by dry weather and high winds, and they don’t expect the fight to get any easier in the coming days.
In the Jerusalem mountains, a large fire has begun burning its way towards the village of Nataf close to the green line, and the community has begun evacuating residents. At least four firefighting teams and four aircraft have been dispatched to begin working on the blaze.
Some 3,000 residents of the hill top town of Zichron Yaakov were evacuated Tuesday as flames crept up the hill and into the streets.
Additional fires have been reported near Kiryat Gat and Kibbutz Revadim in Southern Israel and close to villages outside of Acre and near Atlit and Nazareth in the North, as well as a few brush fires in the Galilee region.
Residents of certain neighborhoods in the northern coastal city of Nahariya have been advised Wednesday to stay indoors as a brush fire began spreading near the city.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank a fire is burning near the settlement of Dolev, where residents have been evacuated and crews have been working through the night. Two people from the settlement were treated for smoke inhalation. To the south, in the Etzion block of the West Bank a second fire is burning near the settlement of Rosh Tzurim.
The first fire to erupt late Monday near the co-existence community of Neve Shalom, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has been extinguished.