Mon, 15 Aug 2022

PRAGUE, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- As many as 900 firefighters are battling a blaze at the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic, the local fire and rescue service said on Monday.

200 tanker trucks, 18 helicopters and five planes have been deployed to deal with the fire, which has now been raging for nine days. It has crossed the Czech border with Germany, and countries including Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Germany and Sweden have sent firefighting aircraft to help bring the fire under control.

The Czech fire and rescue service has described the fire as "completely unique in our history in terms of its scope, terrain, the number of deployed equipment and firefighters, the manner in which the intervention was conducted and the impact on the lives of residents and visitors of the national park."

Officials have said that the fire has been contained to a large area in the park, with firefighters now clearing the rest of the affected areas.

While the park is not completely closed off, selected areas are inaccessible, and the forest trails are barred. Local police have said they will not tolerate tourists trying to enter the area, due to several incidents.

Investigators say it is "highly probable" that the blaze has human origins, since no recent natural event has been recorded that could have caused the fire.

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