The latest global news brief today, July 27

The situation in two German regions affected by large forest fires remains ‘tense’

A helicopter drops water to contain a forest fire as it continues to burn in a forest near the eastern German town of Schmelka on July 27, 2022, near the border with the Czech Republic. (Photo by MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

German authorities told CNN on Wednesday that the situation in two German regions affected by large forest fires remains “tense,” although the spread of the fires has been largely contained and the fires are no longer “out of control.”

Hundreds of firefighters are still deployed in the northeastern state of Brandenburg and eastern Saxony, according to authorities.

The situation near Falkenberg municipality in the state of Brandenburg has “calmed down” and the 850-hectare (2,100-acre) fire is no longer “out of control,” a local fire protection officer told CNN Wednesday. . Haas added that the main goal of the firefighters now is to prevent the ignition of previous sources of flame.

Haas said 480 firefighters were still battling the flames in the area and were assisted by six German military helicopters. It added that at least eight firefighters were injured in the fire that broke out on Monday.

Haas said authorities initially ordered the evacuation of three nearby towns, but that as of Wednesday all residents had been allowed to return. He predicted that it would take “several days to bring the fire under control.”

The fire destroyed three stables on a pig farm in Falkenberg, killing between 1,000 and 2,000 piglets, according to Haas.

Local fire chief Stephen Ludwig told CNN that old munitions from a former military base buried in the area were complicating firefighting efforts.

Another wildfire is raging near two national parks – the Bohemian Switzerland and the Swiss Saxon – on the German-Czech border. Local authorities said in a statement on Wednesday that the situation there remained “tense”.

The Saxon Switzerland National Park office has banned visitors from all forests in the affected area.

“The devastating images are distressing,” Saxony’s Foreign Minister Frank Weil said in a statement on Tuesday.

Weil called on citizens to avoid starting any fires or using other sources of heat near vegetation during this “exceptional drought.”

Markus Opel, a meteorologist for the German Weather Service (DWD) told CNN Wednesday that while rain was expected on the Czech side of the border, no rain was expected in the affected areas in Germany.

According to the DWD, the risk of wildfires remains very high, due to the heat wave affecting western and central Europe, which has caused droughts in parts of Germany.

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