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Wildfires raging in California and Texas aren’t the only regions of the world battling deadly blazes.
Massive wildfires are raging on the German-Czech Republic border, threatening to destroy a forested national park popular with tourists.
The fires in the area, known as Bohemian Switzerland on the Czech side and Saxon Switzerland National Park on the German side, started last weekend. The virus appeared to be under control, but it spread again early Thursday morning, according to German news agency DPA.
Hundreds of firefighters on both sides of the border fought the blaze with the help of reinforcements from neighboring Poland and Slovakia. Eight firefighting helicopters are working to contain the blazes in hilly and rocky areas that are difficult to access, with about 250 hectares (618 acres) of forest burning on Thursday.
Local authorities warned tourists to stay away.
Photos from a local photographer show the devastation already caused –
Saxon authorities have banned hikers from entering some forests in the area. To prevent additional fires, they also asked locals not to set off fireworks at private parties.
“It’s all very tense. We can’t talk about putting the fire out just yet.” Saxon Interior Minister Armin Schuster said: “Firefighters have reached their limits.
Excalibur Army, a Czech company involved in rescue operations and military involvement, tweeted about its involvement. @hasici_cr Good luck and above all a lot of strength! ”
Firefighting International Disaster Response Germany, a non-profit rescue organization, also reported from the scene. Made even more difficult by the difficult geography. ”
But amidst the carnage, there were glimmers of hope. The Czech Republic fire brigade tweeted a video of the famous Pravticka Brana still standing.
Another large bushfire in the Elbe Elster district of the eastern German state of Brandenburg was put under control on Thursday after reigniting Wednesday night, local officials said. The fire was still burning an area of 500 hectares (1,236 acres).
Police helicopters scouted the area with thermal cameras, looking for pockets of embers that could ignite and burst into flames. Some areas are too dangerous for firefighters to enter, as they are contaminated with WWII ammunition and can explode due to heat or human contact.
The Germans sent several military helicopters into both fires to support local units.
The Associated Press contributed to this report