Police evacuated several homes in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion on Sunday due to a wildland fire that raged out of control.
Strong winds further fanned the flames and heavy smoke surrounded the area as the blaze headed towards the capital's Motza neighborhood and a nearby nursing home.
Meanwhile, another wildfire broke out in the Lifta nature reserve in Jerusalem
Following the fire, Highway 1, which connects Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, was blocked for traffic for about an hour. MKs Meirav Ben-Ari, Issawi Frej and Keren Barak were pulled out from the gridlock by police to arrive on time for the swearing-in of the new government that took place in Knesset in Jerusalem.
Fire and Rescue Services said that eight firefighting teams and were working to put out the fire and ten firefighting planes were called to assist the teams on the ground.
Due to the heavy smoke pollution, Environmental Protection Ministry recommended that heart patients, lung patients, elderly people, children and pregnant women living in the area avoid unnecessary stays outside. The rest of the population is recommended to reduce physical activity outdoors, close windows and turn on the air conditioner.
Last week, at least 30 fires broke out around Jerusalem and the West Bank, consuming close to 670 acres of forest land.
Dozens of families were evacuated from their homes due to the fire.
The fire brigade managed to fend off the flames and prevented them from reaching nearby communities. There were no casualties.
Authorities suspect the cause of the fires was arson.