Unprecedented heatwave grips Czechia, fueling numerous wildfires

Firefighters reported a busy weekend battling blazes in nature areas amid record-breaking temperatures.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.07.2023 14:09:00 (updated on 10.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia experienced scorching temperatures on July 9, with records for the date being broken at two-thirds of the country's long-term measuring stations, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) announced.

The country witnessed one of the hottest days of the year, and high temperatures are expected to persist in the coming days. Warnings of increased risk of fires are in effect, and firefighters responded to hundreds of incidents over the weekend.

  • Eight stations recorded temperatures surpassing 35 degrees Celsius.
  • The highest temperature of 36.4 degrees Celsius was measured in Doksany, located in the Ústí nad Labem Region, during the afternoon.
  • Plzeň-Bolevec reached 36.2 degrees, and Kopisty in the Ústí nad Labem Region followed with a high of 35.7 degrees.
  • The Central Bohemian station Husinec-Řež saw 35.4 degrees, Dobřichovice in Central Bohemia and Dobrany in the Plzeň Region both registered 35.2 degrees.
  • Plzeň-Mikulce and Prague-Komořany tied at 35 degrees.

Meteorologists have issued a high-temperature warning for today, with most regions in Czechia expecting temperatures to exceed 31 degrees Celsius during the afternoon. However, southern Moravia faces the highest alert level as temperatures could reach 36 degrees. ČHMÚ forecasts call for continued high temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday, and further warnings will be issued accordingly.

Risk of fires remains high

Due to the prevailing dry and warm weather conditions, a fire risk warning has been enforced throughout the country until further notice. Several regions including Prague and Central Bohemia have already implemented smoking and open fire bans in forests, parks, and locations near hay and straw storage facilities.

Firefighters on Saturday responded to 181 fires, with over half occurring in natural areas. A fire affecting 20 hectares of fields near Libčeves in the Ústí nad Labem Region was likely caused by a spark from a combine harvester, news agency ČTK reported. These fires also disrupted rail transport, with several incidents occurring near railway lines.

Slightly fewer fires occurred on Sunday, according to news site TN.CZ. As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, firefighters responded to 107 fires, including 70 in nature areas.

Firefighters in Central Bohemia tweeted that they responded to 68 fires on Saturday and Sunday. "We dealt with 37 brush and grass fires, 15 forest fires, and 6 garbage fires. In most cases, the fires were extinguished in the first stage of the alarm, but a fire near the village of Slavkov forced us to announce the third stage of the fire alarm," they tweeted.

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