Firefighters contain blaze at Poland’s largest nature reserve

Firefighters have contained a blaze that had been ravaging swathes of the Biebrza National Park, home to a range of protected species, since Sunday.

The fire at Polands Biebrza National Park.

The fire at Poland’s Biebrza National Park. Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

“The fire of several thousand hectares of marshes and forest in the Biebrza National Park is under control; right now we are extinguishing the wasteland and individual fire outbreaks,” fire chief Jarosław Wendt told the press on Friday afternoon.

“At the moment, the size [of the blaze] is 5,300 hectares and it does not spread,” he added.

The fire has swept through some 6,000 hectares of the park, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. The area of the Biebrza nature reserve, which is the country’s largest, is 59,000 hectares.

The blaze was “almost certainly” caused by illegal grass burning, a common practice in Poland by people who want to clear their land, IAR reported.

Fire crews tackling the blaze, which is the biggest in the region for years, were being supported by the army and by special firefighting planes as well as two police helicopters.

(jh)

Source: IAR/PAP

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