Raging forest fires in Germany and the Czech Republic threaten the tourist region

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raging wildfires in California and Texas is not the only region in the world battling deadly flames.

A major wildfire on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic is spreading and threatening to destroy a forested national park popular with tourists.

The fire in the region, called Bohemian Switzerland on the Czech side and Saxon Switzerland National Park on the German side, started over the weekend. The virus appeared to be under control, but it spread again early Thursday morning, according to the German news agency DPA.

Hundreds of firefighters fought the fire on both sides of the border. reinforcements from neighboring Poland and Slovakia. Eight fire helicopters were working to put out the fire in the hard-to-reach hilly and rocky area, where about 250 hectares (618 acres) of forest burned on Thursday.

Bundeswehr helicopters land on the banks of the Elbe to help put out fires in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, Schmilka, Germany.

Bundeswehr helicopters land on the banks of the Elbe to help put out fires in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, Schmilka, Germany.
(Ondrej Hayek/CTK via AP)

Local authorities urged tourists to stay away from the area.

Photographs by a local photographer show the damage already done.

State officials of Saxony banned tourists from the entrance to several forests in the region. To prevent new fires, they also asked local residents not to set off fireworks at private parties.

“Everything is very tight. In no case can one speak of a weakening of the fire; “Firefighters have reached the limit of their capabilities,” said Saxon Interior Minister Armin Schuster.

A firefighter uses a hose to put out forest fires in the České Svičarsko National Park, Czech Switzerland, near Hrensko, Czech Republic.

A firefighter uses a hose to put out forest fires in the České Svičarsko National Park, Czech Switzerland, near Hrensko, Czech Republic.
(Ondrej Hayek/CTK via AP)

Excalibur Army, a Czech rescue and military engagement company, tweeted about their involvement: “The TRITON special vehicle developed by EXCALIBUR ARMY for the fire and rescue services was deployed to fight the fire in Czech Switzerland in the Czech Republic. We wish @hasici_cr good luck and, above all, a lot of strength!”

The non-profit rescue organization Fire International Disaster Response Germany also said from the scene: “#Saxony: Our mission in #SaxonSwiss National Park continued today. Together with local authorities and organizations, attempts are still being made to contain the extensive #forest fire, which is complicated by difficult geographical conditions.

However, amidst the carnage, a sign of hope appeared. This video was published on Twitter by the fire and rescue services of the Czech Republic. the famous Pravchitskaya Brana stand still.

A helicopter drops water as a fire burns in the area of ​​the České Svycarsko National Park, Czech Switzerland, near Hrensko, Czech Republic.

A helicopter drops water as a fire burns in the area of ​​the České Svycarsko National Park, Czech Switzerland, near Hrensko, Czech Republic.
(Ondrej Hayek/CTK via AP)

Local authorities said another major wildfire in the Elbe-Elster region in the East German state of Brandenburg was brought under control on Thursday after flaring up again on Wednesday evening. The fire was still burning over an area of ​​500 hectares (1,236 acres).

A police helicopter surveyed the area with a thermal imaging camera to look for pockets of embers that could ignite. Some areas are contaminated with World War II munitions and are too dangerous for firefighters because the heat or human contact can cause explosions.

The German army sent several soldiers helicopters to both fires to support local units.

The Associated Press contributed to this report