Firefighters saved more villages from the fire last night

Ondřej Hájek

Firefighters continued to fight the fire in the Czech Switzerland National Park on Wednesday night. In the dark, they concentrated on small fires in the rocks above Hřensko. They managed to keep the fire far away from the village of Janov, whose inhabitants had not yet had to evacuate.

“We are still fighting the fire over an area of five by two kilometers,” the Ústí Region firefighters said on Twitter. They added that they concentrated on protecting the evacuated villages from the blaze. They are now mainly fighting on the proper slope of the Kamenice River.

The evacuation of the village of Vysoká Lipa was ordered later in the evening. So far, the fire hasn’t hit there either.

Firefighters from the Pardubice Region arrived in the evening and helped to protect Kamenicka Strana. On the other hand, the exhausted firefighters from Hradec Králové interrupted their intervention after 9 pm.

Helicopters also interrupted the intervention at the fire on Tuesday evening and were joined by a Polish one on Tuesday afternoon. They could not fly in the dark.

A helicopter from Slovakia will be deployed on Wednesday, and a decision will be made on whether planes from Italy will be called in. They can carry up to 6,000 liters of water. They couldn’t take it from the nearby Elbe River, as helicopters do, but rather from Lake Milada in Ústí nad Labem, according to Milan Rudolf, a regional fire brigade spokesman.

The German army has also deployed helicopters because the fire is burning on the German side of the border.

Seven more firefighters from Ostrava, who sent one container with a Somati pump and one with three kilometers of hoses, are expected to reinforce the firefighters in the morning.

The fire has been burning in Bohemian Switzerland since Sunday. The national park administration will decide whether to ban visitors from entering the entire park while selected hiking trails are closed. Hejtman Jan Schiller (ANO) said that the Ústí nad Labem region will announce a ban on entering forests on its territory today.