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Czech and German firefighters battle blaze in national park

firefighters work to extinguish a fire, in hrensko
Firefighters work to extinguish a forest fire, in Hrensko, Czech Republic in this screengrab taken from a video released July 26, 2022. SDH Velky Senov/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT.

Firefighters reinforced by units from neighbouring Germany battled a wildfire in a Czech national park on Tuesday which has destroyed houses and forced authorities to evacuate villages.

The blaze covering around 30 hectares in a popular tourist area on the German border sent smoke drifting across the country, including to the capital Prague located some 130 miles away, Prague and regional fire departments said on Twitter.

Firefighters, who suspect a park visitor started the blaze after leaving a campfire unattended over the weekend in the area known as Czech Switzerland, had the situation under control until changing winds fuelled the wildfire.

A brutal heat wave last week with temperature spikes above 40 Celsius led to wildfires across swathes of southern Europe.

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