JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli firefighters brought a forest fire in Jerusalem under control on Sunday after the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum was evacuated as a precaution, a police spokesman said.

“The fire has been brought totally under control but the fire service is continuing to work on the ground to make sure it doesn’t restart,” Micky Rosenfeld said.

The blaze had started at three different points, “which could mean it was deliberate,” he said, adding that police and the fire service were investigating the cause.

Six people were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Thick grey smoke earlier billowed up through the forested hills on Jerusalem’s southwestern flank as firefighters battled the blaze and diving aircraft were used to douse the flames, a photographer said.

“We have evacuated all the workers and tourists from Yad Vashem,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. A Yad Vashem spokeswoman said some staff stayed behind to try to protect the trove of irreplaceable artefacts.

Yad Vashem is the main museum in Israel commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazi regime during World War II.

Emergency services spokesman Boaz Rakia said the fire had also threatened residential areas of the holy city.

In December, a fire in the Carmel forest of northern Israel killed 44 people as it raged for four days. The deadliest blaze in Israeli history was brought under control with firefighting planes and personnel from more than 16 countries.