Firefighters reduced the area of the fire in Bohemian Switzerland to 513 hectares

Vojtěch Hájek

Firefighters in Bohemian Switzerland managed to reduce the area of the fireplace from 606 to 513 hectares on Tuesday. The fire affected a total area of 1,060 hectares. However, work is slow, with firefighters often having to help themselves with shovels, hoes, or chainsaws.

The return of evacuated residents from Hřensko, Mezná, and Mezná Louka is not yet possible, as the road between the villages is still heavily used by firefighters, and movement along it would be dangerous, said Milan Rudolf, spokesman for the regional fire department.

“Since we are moving in challenging terrain, in the area of Větrovec, Bouřňák, Triangle, Křídelní stěny, where we have stretched 600 meters of the hose line, we are cutting through it with chainsaws. In some sections, the firefighters have to intervene with the help of rope equipment, so the work is very long and slow,” Rudolf described. Firefighters sometimes mechanically plow up peat and infested needles using hand tools.

Rescuers repeatedly return to many sites, with new outbreaks always appearing. Especially due to the higher temperatures, there is a risk of their formation, but firefighters immediately extinguish them. On Wednesday, firefighters will continue to reduce the area of the fire, and aerial equipment will also return to the site.

Rudolf warned that temperatures would continue to be high in the coming days, and winds are expected to pick up towards the end of the week, which could complicate firefighters’ work. Around 1,000 firefighters are on the scene.