The worst forest fires in West Germany's history were raging out of control across a thirty square kilometre (11 square mile)area in the north of the country towards the East German border on Wednesday (13 August).
GV Fire blazing on horizon
GV PAN FROM House To forest on fire
GV PAM FROM Street To warning sigh.
GV Army tanks move into thick forest to fight the blaze.
GV Flames at roadside with trees bordering.
GV Firemen move into smoke with hoses pouring water.
SV Warning sign.
SC Firefighting trucks at scene.
GV Army reserve standing by to fight spreading fire. (2 shots)
GV Very dense smoke and fire blazing in dry country. (3 shots)
GV Ruins of house Gv Tank further into forest.
GV Tank further into forest.
SV helicopter airlifting water.
GV PAN Smoke and firemen hosing. (3 shots)
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Background: The worst forest fires in West Germany's history were raging out of control across a thirty square kilometre (11 square mile)area in the north of the country towards the East German border on Wednesday (13 August).
Despite a massive effort by army and civilian firefighters, one official described the blaze as "unstoppable".
The fires which have raced across the tinder-dry Lueneburg Heath, north of Honover, during the past six days have already killed five people and caused massive damage to property and woodlands.
Eight thousand firemen, troops, police and volunteers have been involved in the struggle to prevent the blaze form reaching rural areas and villages ..... and state officials have warned East Germany to prepare for the advancing flames.
British troops stationed in West Germany worked throughout the night evacuating arms and ammunition depots near Cells when a sudden change in wind direction brought the blaze dangerously close.
French firefighting planes were conducting "water-bombing" sorties into the area, and helicopters also airlifted water bags into the blazing woodlands.
SYNOPSIS: Forest fires -- the worst in West Germany's history -- were raging out of control across a thirty ??? kilometre area in the country's north near the eastern border, on Wednesday (13 August). One official described the blaze as "unstoppable" despite a massive effort by army and civilian firefighters.
About two thousand inhabitants of the stricken area were evacuated, as eight thousand firemen, troops, police and volunteers struggled to prevent the blaze from reaching rural areas and villages.
The country's East German neighbours were alerted to prepare for he advancing flames, which were within only a few kilometres of the border.
Throughout the night, British troops of the Rhine Army Worked to evacuate two arms and ammunition depots near Celle, as a change in wind direction brought them into the path of the flames.
Five people have died, and millions of marks' worth of property have been gutted and ruined by the fire since the first flames spread six days ago.
French firefighting planes were conducting "water-bombing" sorties into the woodlands, dropping thousands of litres of water in the worst-hit areas. West German helicopters also airlifted water, but officials were not optimistic about their chances of controlling the blaze.
One firefighter called the aerial attack "a drop in the ocean" compared to the ferocity of the flames, and their savage hold on the area. On Wednesday, five firemen died when their vehicle was encircled by flames on the Lueneburg Heath.