Polish firefighters head to Czech border to help tackle raging fires
Polish firefighters are heading to the Czech Republic to help battle raging fires that have ripped across one of the country’s national parks on the border with Germany.
Around 200 firemen and 70 vehicles including a Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a Bambi Bucket container capable of holding around 3,000 litres of water will join German firefighters already helping to combat the enormous blaze.
Breaking out on Sunday in an inaccessible rocky area of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, the fire quickly spread to 30 hectares of the reserve by Monday.
Chief commander of the State Fire Service, Brigadier Karol Kierzkowski said: “Work is underway to prepare the helicopter and fire-fighting equipment for departure.
“In the afternoon, we expect the rescuers to fly out and reach the Czech border in about three hours.
“This fire is difficult and dangerous because it is in a mountainous area, very difficult to access.
“Additionally, there is a strong wind. Therefore, the firefighting operation must be carried out mainly by airplanes and firefighting helicopters.”
He added: “As long as the Czech side needs our help, we will stay for as long as necessary.”
More than 200 people have so far been evacuated from the area, with the village of Mezna being burnt to the ground during the night as Monday saw temperatures soar to a record high of 36.4 degrees Celsius.
Last year Polish firefighters were called upon to help tackle fires in Greece.