Firefighters Battle Blazes as Czech Republic Faces 'Worst Drought in 500 Years'

Fire crews fought blazes near the Czech Republic’s border with Germany on April 28, as the Central European country faces extreme drought conditions that officials say are the worst in centuries.

This drone footage showing the aftermath of fires in the vicinity of Cínovce was posted on Wednesday by the emergency services in the northern Usti Region. On Tuesday, the same emergency services posted photos of firefighters battling blazes, which it said were being confronted by seven Czech crews and two from across the border in Germany.

On Wednesday, Czech Environment Minister Richard Brabec described drought conditions as the worst the country has faced in 500 years. The ministry showed evidence that extreme drought existed in three-quarters of the Czech Republic.

“We are facing an unprecedented drought period, both in its duration and its impact,” he said. “Smaller rivers will dry out, there may be tens, perhaps hundreds of communities supplied by cisterns, because their sources may dry out."

According to local reports, the Vltava River in the Czech capital Prague is at only a fifth of its normal levels for April, when snow melt historically has filled waterways in the country. Credit: Fire and Rescue Service of the Ústí Region via Storyful