Heath and forest fires double this year, due to dry summer months

It took two days to put out this fire in Overijssel. Photo: Wilbert Bijzitter / Hollands Hoogte

The fire brigade was called out to deal with 2,811 forest, heath and other wildfires in June and July this year, according to official figures.

That is well over double the 1,213 wildfires recorded last year when the weather was not so hot and dry, the national fire brigade said

The long drought led to several major fires, which destroyed large swathes of countryside and forced several campsites to be evacuated. Helicopters were also brought in to help on occasion.

‘We took more preventative measures and, unlike in previous years, we are using surveillance aircraft,’ fire chief Stephan Wevers. Police and forestry commission officials also carried out extra checks in areas known to be vulnerable to fire.

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