Thousands evacuated as heath and forest fires hit the south
Some 4,200 people living in the Limburg village of Herkenbosch were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday night due to smoke from a major heath fire.
The fire in the De Meinweg national park broke out on Monday but the long period of dry weather and the wind have made it impossible to get under control.
Local officials ordered the evacuation, which included two nursing homes, because of the large amount of smoke the fire generated and the high concentration of carbon monoxide.
Residents were told to go and stay with family and friends or were put up in 16 different sports halls in the region, news website Nu.nl reported.
Officials will decide later on Wednesday when it is safe for them to return to their homes. There is no danger that the flames will reach the village, officials said.
A further 50 homes have been evacuated close to the Peel nature reserve east of Eindhoven, where fire officers have also been fighting a blaze since Monday.
Helicopters and the army have been drafted in to help put out the blaze, but officials say it will be the end of Wednesday at least before that fire has been brought under control.
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