Fire brigade officials on Wednesday issued a code red alert for Brabant and Zeeland, saying the risk of fire in the region’s forests and heathlands has become ‘extremely high’.
Code red means that a fire could take hold and develop in an unpredictable fashion with considerable speed.
Much of the rest of the country, including Utrecht and northern parts of Noord-Holland, remain on code amber, where the risk of fire remains high, according to website Natuurbrandrisico.
Much of the Netherlands is extremely dry following weeks with little or no rain and high temperatures. The KNMI weather bureau is expecting the temperature to rise to as high as 36 degrees in the south on Thursday.
Although cooler weather is forecast for Friday and the weekend, it is still likely to be above 25 degrees in the south.
The high temperatures have also forced water boards to take steps to keep water levels sufficiently high to ensure dykes do not dry out and that salt levels do not rise in rivers. This could have an impact on farmers who use river water for their crops and livestock.
Officials are also alert to the risk of potentially harmful algal blooms in lakes and ponds, news agency ANP said.
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