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German authorities say they're winning 'war' on wildfire at former military training site

A German Federal Armed Forces helicopter drops extinguishing water over the burning forest area in Jessenitz, eastern Germany, Wednesday, July 3, 2019. The fire near Luebtheen, about 105 miles northwest of Berlin, has been burning for days.

JENS BUETTNER/DPA VIA AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: July 5, 2019

BERLIN — German officials say they are close to extinguishing a large wildfire at a former military exercise area in northern Germany.

Stefan Sternberg, who heads the district administration, said Friday that firefighters are winning the "war" against the blaze.

The fire in Luebtheen, about 105 miles northwest of Berlin, has been burning for days. It is the biggest in the history of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania state, which along with much of Europe has experienced a particularly hot and dry early summer in recent weeks.

Sternberg predicted rain forecast for the weekend may help the 2,000 firefighters and soldiers finish the job, saying: "Every drop of water is a massive help for the region."

Most residents of nearby villages who were evacuated protectively have been allowed to return home.

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