Video: Wildfires spread across dry Netherlands despite rainstorms
Dutch firefighters had their hands full battling forest fires in the Noord-Brabant nature area Mariapeel and on Terschelling during the early hours of Friday morning. The fires in both areas are now under control, with occasional flare-ups. Firefighters and the Forestry Commission are monitoring the areas, keeping the edges around the fires wet so it can't spread, Omroep Brabant and NOS report.
Two fires broke out in Mariapeel, one around midnight and the second around 3:00 a.m. According to Omroep Brabant, the fire spread to cover an area of 700 by 300 meters. The fire department responded with heavy equipment. Fighting the fire was complicated, as the area is hard to access and it was difficult to get water to the location.
By 7:40 a.m. the fire was under control, a spokesperson for the fire department told Omroep Brabant. The State Forestry Commission took over from the fire department on Friday morning and they are making sure the fire can't spread any further.
A code red fire warning is currently in place for Noord-Brabant, which means that there is a high risk of forest fires due to the persistent hot and dry weather conditions. During a code red open fires of any sort is banned and smoking is discouraged. Some rain did fall in the area overnight, but not enough to change the situation. "It was a drop on a hot plate", one firefighter said to NOS.
The fire on Terschelling started around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday on the north side of the island. It covered an area of about 50 by 50 meters, according to NOS. Here too firefighters had difficulty feeding water to the area. The fire brigade was assisted by rescue organization KNRM. The Coast Guard also deployed a plane to map the situation from the air. The fire was under control by 3:00 a.m.
Firefighters are keeping a close eye on the area in the coming hours. "With a little wind, the fire can recharge and more nature can be ignited. We want to avoid that", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster.