The boundaries of the fire in Bohemian Switzerland can be kept to an area of 1000 hectares

Jakub Bartosz

The fire in Bohemian Switzerland did not spread during the night on Thursday. Firefighters managed to contain it to an area of five by two kilometers, or 1,000 hectares. The logging machines have created a safety belt on the Czech Way, firefighters said on their website shortly before 03:30.

“Firefighters managed to contain the fire over an area of 5 by 2 km. Yesterday (Wednesday), a safety gap was created on the Czech Way with the help of logging equipment,” they wrote.

Firefighters are defending the villages of Hřensko, Vysokou Lípa, Mezná, and Mezní Louka from the fire, where their residents and tourists had to be evacuated.

They are also providing night defense to the village of Janov, where its inhabitants are staying for the time being. In total, 450 people have been evacuated due to the elements.

Nearly 500 firefighters are on the scene, with others gradually replacing them.

Seven helicopters were fighting the fire on Wednesday. In addition to the two machines sent to help by Poland and Slovakia, two armies, two police helicopters, and a helicopter from the Czechoslovak Group are fighting the fire.

Two Canadair firefighting aircraft from Italy, each with over 6,000 liters of water capacity, will join the firefighting efforts on Thursday morning. They can pump water directly from the surface while in flight and will draw it from Lake Milada near Ústí nad Labem.

The lake is closed to the public from today until further notice. The police department will carry out supervision of the area.

“It is forbidden to enter the water. People can move around it,” said Hana Volfová, spokeswoman for the state enterprise Diamo, the water area administrator.