Dutch wildfire under control

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The large heath fire in a nature reserve on the border of the northeastern provinces of Drenthe and Friesland is under control, according to a fire services spokesperson.

“The use of military extinguisher helicopters has proved most effective,” he said. “The immediate danger has receded thanks to their deployment. We will carry on fighting the fire and expect to be able to begin efforts to put it out entirely towards the end of the afternoon.”

The blaze has destroyed between 50 and 100 hectares of scrubland in the Fochteloërveen nature reserve. Around 150 firemen and many local farmers were drafted in to fight the fire.

Code Red The fire brigade in Drenthe has fought a number of heath fires this weekend. The largest was on a former Ministry of Defence firing range in Witteveld close to the TT circuit in Assen, where around five hectares went up in flames on Sunday.

The prolonged dry period has led to the fire brigade in North and Central Limburg in the south of the Netherlands announcing the highest level of alert 'Code Red' for fire hazard in nature areas. As a result open fires and barbeques are banned in the southern region.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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