Hundreds of firefighters battle blaze on Czech-German border

Firefighters from several countries have joined forces to battle a fire in a national park in northern Czech Republic that has spread to neighboring Germany, officials said Tuesday.

The fire in the Bohemian Switzerland park broke out on Sunday and was mostly contained before windy weather caused it to spread again on Monday afternoon and overnight. Firefighters said some 30 hectares have been affected in the park and more across the border in the German state of Saxony.

No injuries have been reported.

Some 80 people have been evacuated from the border town of Hrensko, and more from the village of Mezna, where the flames have destroyed or damaged several homes, firefighters spokesman Lukas Marvan said.

Dozens of German children were evacuated from a summer camp on the Czech side of the border and transported back to Germany.

The Czech Republic has asked neighboring countries for help, the firefighters said. Poland has sent a helicopter and another one is expected from Slovakia.

The Czechs also requested three Canadair planes that are specifically designed for aerial firefighting.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Interior Minister Vit Rakusan were visiting the area on Tuesday.

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute said the smoke has spread 100 or more kilometers (60 miles or more) from the fire.

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