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Germany: Dry weather raises fears of forest fires, drought

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People enjoy the ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the Wadden sea near Cuxhaven, Germany, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Meteorologists in Germany say rain forecast for the next few days is unlikely to provide much relief to parched fields and forests, raising fears of a repeat of last year's drought and serious wildfires.

Udo Busch of the German meteorological agency DWD said if dry conditions prevail, the drought that caused severe crop damage in 2018 could be surpassed this year.

Strong winds in northern Germany have also whipped soil off the fields, creating sand storms in recent days.

The head of Germany's firefighters association, Hartmut Ziebs, called Wednesday for more helicopters to be put on standby to help extinguish potential fires. The country has seen a number of blazes in recent days.

Authorities in Berlin are urging residents to water thirsty trees that line the streets, saying city workers can't water them all.

A cyclist makes his way through a heavy storm in Burgdorf, Germany, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Julian Stratenschulte/dpa via AP)
A cyclist makes his way through a heavy storm in Burgdorf, Germany, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Julian Stratenschulte/dpa via AP)
A cyclist makes his way through a heavy storm in Burgdorf, Germany, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Julian Stratenschulte/dpa via AP)
People enjoy the ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the Wadden sea near Cuxhaven, Germany, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/dpa via AP)
People enjoy the ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the Wadden sea near Cuxhaven, Germany, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/dpa via AP)