More than 30 fire engines have been dispatched to deal with a large grass fire that has broken out in the dunes in Heemskerk.
Roads leading to the site have been closed as firefighters tackle the blaze, which is said to cover an area of half a square kilometre. Two crews from Utrecht have been dispatched to support 30 local crews in Heemskerk, which is around 25km north-west of Amsterdam.
A police helicopter is monitoring the spread of the fire and co-ordinating the fire crews’ efforts. Local safety officials have issued an NL Alert and told people to stay away from the area.
— Politiehelikopter (@DePolitieheli) July 16, 2018
Low rainfall in the last month has created tinderbox conditions in large parts of the Netherlands. The fire service recently said it would send out twice as many crews to rural fires than usual because they are likely to spread more quickly.
Residents have been warned to be aware of the heightened risk of fire in the countryside and on verges and take preventive action by not throwing cigarettes out of car windows, discarding plastic bottles or parking their cars in long grass, as the engine can cause the dry heathland to catch fire.
Update: The fire brigade described the blaze as under control by late afternoon
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