German authorities say they are winning ‘war’ on wildfire

BERLIN (AP) – German officials said they are close to extinguishing a large wildfire at a former military exercise area in northern Germany.

Stefan Sternberg, who heads the district administration, said yesterday that firefighters are winning the “war” against the blaze.

The fire in Luebtheen, about 170 kilometres northwest of Berlin, has been burning for days. It is the biggest in the history of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania state, which along with much of Europe has experienced a particularly hot and dry early summer in recent weeks.

 Sternberg predicted rain forecast for the weekend may help the 2,000 firefighters and soldiers finish the job, saying, “Every drop of water is a massive help for the region.”

Most residents of nearby villages who were evacuated protectively have been allowed to return home.

Firefighters splash water in the evacuated locality of Alt Jabel in order to keep the area wet, as a huge forest blaze rips through a former military training area in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, northern Germany. – AFP