Police urged volunteers to stay away from the area, where flames are still raging uncontrollably. At least one house was heavily damaged.

Photo credit: Fire Service/Channel 2 News

Firefighters are still battling a large blaze in the Judean village of Nataf west of Jerusalem. Police have evacuated its residents and urged volunteers to avoid the area. At least one house was reportedly damaged, as well as a local restaurant.

The fire started at about 3 p.m. on Friday near Kibbutz Ma’ale HaHamisha, and gradually started to spread towards Nataf. 30 firefighting teams and 20 planes were called to the scene as the fire was nearing residential areas. Among the forces sent to Nataf were firefighters from the Palestinian Authority who came earlier on Friday to assist the Israeli ones.

Photo credit: Fire Service/Channel 2 News

As of now, the flames are not under control and the darkness isn’t making the forces’ job any easier.

A preliminary speculation indicates that the fire started as a result of a Molotov cocktail that was thrown from the nearby Palestinian village of Qatanna.