202.5

Disaster declared after army rocket sparks German wildfire

FILE- In this Sept. 18, 2018 file photo a fire engine stands at a German army training site near Meppen, Germany. Authorities in the Emsland region said Friday that they are considering ordering the evacuation of about 1,000 people from two villages near Meppen, close to the Dutch border.(Stephan Konjer/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Officials in northwestern Germany are declaring a disaster over a wildfire triggered two weeks ago by a rocket test on an army training site.

Authorities in the Emsland region said Friday that they are considering ordering the evacuation of about 1,000 people from two villages near Meppen, close to the Dutch border.

Firefighters have been struggling to contain the blaze on moorland used by the German army for training exercises. Smoke has spread over 100 kilometers (62 miles) and is visible on satellite images.

By declaring a disaster, local authorities can request forces from outside the region.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said the situation was “very serious” and apologized for any mistakes made. He said German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen planned to visit the site Saturday.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



Advertiser Content