German military clears fire break to contain massive blaze

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Firefighters spray water on a road in Alt Jabel, Germany, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Thousands of firefighters, soldiers and civil defense personnel are battling a large wildfire at an area used for military exercises in northern Germany. Officials said Tuesday that the blaze in Luebtheen, about 170 kilometers (106 miles) northwest of Berlin, is the biggest in the history of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania state. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — German officials say thousands of firefighters, soldiers and civil defense personnel are beginning to get a massive wildfire burning northwest of Berlin under control but the situation remains critical.

German news agency dpa reported Wednesday that armored military bulldozers were working to clear a firebreak around the blaze in Luebtheen and additional vehicles were to be brought in over the course of the day.

Some 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) are affected in what has become the largest blaze in the history of the Mecklenburg Western Pomerania state. Luebtheen is located about 170 kilometers (106 miles) from Berlin.

Officials say the fire area has not expanded since Tuesday and they’re optimistic the blaze is now contained. Residents of four villages who were evacuated protectively are now being allowed to return to their homes.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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