Prague, May 14 (CTK) – Firemen will provoke a fire in the Brdy hills, a former military training grounds southwest of Prague now opened to tourists, as a method to save the local unique heath, daily Pravo writes on Saturday.

In the past decades, soldiers’ shooting caused fires to flare up in the ammunition impact areas, which prevented the growth of trees and bushes but benefited the heath.

The heath areas are of a size unseen on this latitude and altitude in Europe, Pravo writes.

“Similar habitats are only in Sweden and Norway’s northern tundra. If [the Brdy one] ceased to exist, whole animal populations would die out as well,” Bohumil Fiser, from the Brdy Protected Nature Area management, is quoted as saying.

The military, however, recently withdrew from Brdy, which was opened to the public as of January 1, 2016.

As a result, trees and bushes threaten to invade the valuable areas and oust the heath plants.

The fire to be provoked next week is meant to eliminate the undesired invasive species and help the heath regenerate.

“The heath benefits from fires… Without the intervention, the heath area would cease to exist within 30 years,” Fiser said.

Hundreds of local fires hit the shooting impact areas in the past years, he said, referring to the area still as part of the military grounds.

He said the firefighters will provoke the planned fire as an exercise to train tackling forest fires.