Wildfire Threatens Popular Gorges in Czech National Park

More than 150 personnel and three aircraft were battling a wildfire in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in northwest Czech Republic on Monday, July 25, as it threatened popular areas, fire officials said.

The fire service in Usti nad Labem region said the blaze broke out on Sunday morning and prompted evacuations of scenic gorges on the Kamenice River, including Edmund Gorge. The gorges remained closed to the public on Monday.

An initial outbreak had been brought largely under control by 1.30 pm Sunday. However, when a second outbreak was found at 4.10 pm near the village of Hřensko, the evacuation of around 100 people from the gorges was ordered.

This footage from Vaclav Sojka, who told Storyful he shot it at Edmund Gorge on Sunday, shows plumes of smoke towering over forest as a helicopter drops water on the fire.

By Monday, three units from Germany had joined the 45 Czech fire units assigned to the fire, fire officials said.

At 4.30 pm Monday, authorities said the fire had spread over the Czech border and into German territory. A further 140 people had been evacuated from two areas in the park, they said.

Park authorities said it was “highly probable” the fire was caused by human activity. Credit: Vaclav Sojka via Storyful

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