Thousands evacuated as fire spreads through eight neighbourhoods in Israeli city

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Israel has ordered the evacuation of thousands of people and called up hundreds of military reservists to battle a spreading fire in the northern city of Haifa.

Police said at least eight neighbourhoods had been evacuated by early afternoon, as smoke spread over the city. At least 17 people were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.

Police and firefighters were deployed throughout the city, as people loaded up supermarket trolleys with belongings and fled their homes.

Some people connected hoses together from apartment buildings to help battle the fires, while residents covered their faces with cloths.

The Haifa fire is the largest of several blazes to erupt across the country over the past two days.

The fires have quickly spread due to dry weather and heavy winds.

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