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Firemen tackling two big forest fires in central Bohemia

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Olesna/Branzez, Central Bohemia, Aug 4 (CTK) – Dozens of fire squads have been tackling a big forest fire near Olesna since Monday afternoon, while another such fire flared up near Branzez, elsewhere in Central Bohemia, in the past hours, regional fire fighters’ spokesman Petr Svoboda told CTK yesterday.
The former fire, probably the biggest in the Czech Republic this year, has hit about 60 hectares of forest and field.
Fifty intervening fire squads, both professional and voluntary, from Central Bohemia and the four neighbour regions, have already prevented the fire from spreading, Svoboda said.
He said the fire was caused by a defect on a combine harvester operating near the forest.
An undesired object seems to have penetrated the combine head, which sparkled and set the field and then the forest on fire, Svoboda said.
He said another big forest fire has just broken out near the Branzez village, in the Mlada Boleslav district.
According to the first information, it hit an area of 250×150 metres. Twenty-two fire squads are intervening on the spot, mainly those from the neighbouring Liberec region, because their Central Bohemian colleagues have been tackling the fire near Olesna.
The latter fire has hit a hardly accessible rocky area, Svoboda said.
Due to persisting drought, the authorities have banned the lighting of fire and smoking at places where the flames could spread.
The biggest forest fire in the Czech Republic in the past ten years at least was probably the one near Bzenec, south Moravia, in the spring of 2012. It devastated about 165 hectares of forest and caused the damage of 27 million crowns to the state-run Lesy CR forest company.
The police failed to uncover the cause of the fire.
($1=24.687 crowns)

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