People run as wildfires rages in Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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Wildfires tore across central and northern Israel Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee the city of Haifa, as leaders blamed arsonists for some of the blazes and branded them terrorists.The fires have been burning in multiple locations for the past three days but intensified Thursday, fueled by unseasonably dry weather and strong easterly winds.Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said residents in eight Haifa neighborhoods had been told to leave due to six separate fires.Local weather forecasters have said the tinder-dry conditions – it has not rained in parts of Israel for months – and strong winds are set to continue for several days and they see little prospect of normal seasonal precipitation arriving.
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