At Jüterbog in Brandenburg, the fire brigade is still on duty against a forest fire that has spread to 35 hectares. According to the operations management, the rising wind worsens the situation.
- Fire on 35 hectares in ammunition-loaded forest near Jüterbog
- Firefighters continue fighting the fire
- District Administrator calls on the state of Brandenburg to assume the costs of the operation
The forest fire near Jüterbog (Teltow-Fläming) apparently did not spread further on Saturday night. According to the Brandenburg/Havel fire brigade control center on Saturday, there are still fires on an area of around 35 hectares on the ammunition-loaded site.
The fire, which seemed under control for a while, was fueled again on Friday evening by strong winds. Dead wood caught fire from embers, and there was a lot of smoke. At noon, the operations management had still hoped to be able to hand over the site to the Brandenburg Natural Landscape Foundation on the same day.
On Saturday morning, a drone should again measure the extent of the fire for another fire brigade operation.
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Fire watches at night
On Friday, the extinguishing work was supported by two firefighting aircraft from the Harz district in Saxony-Anhalt – for the first time in Germany. They are filled with water at the airfield in Schönhagen (Teltow-Fläming). According to the mission coordinators, the machines can drop around 2,200 liters per flight. The airfield is around 20 to 30 kilometers away from the affected fire area between Felgentreu and Jüterbog. So far, helicopters from the German Armed Forces and the Federal Police have been used to deal with forest fires. “This is an experiment that we are carrying out here,” said operations manager Rico Walentin about the use of the machines. “We’re gathering initial insights.”
The fire brigade used five fire engines on the ground to water the forest around the affected area and thus prevent the flames from spreading. The fire area itself cannot be extinguished from the ground because the former military training area is full of ammunition.
The forest fire early detection system had detected the fire on Wednesday evening around 7 p.m. After the fire brigade put out the fire, the forest fire seemed under control on Friday. Only flames were fought in an area of 4,000 square meters, according to operations manager Walentin. But in the afternoon the situation had changed again to the disadvantage: high afternoon temperatures, freshening wind and waiting times for new extinguishing water had led to a further spread of the fire. Dense smoke rose from the area and moved in a southwesterly direction – the town of Altes Lager and parts of Treuenbrietzen were particularly affected. Residents should keep windows and doors closed.
35 hectares affected – so far the largest forest fire of the year
Of the around 70 fires so far this year, the current fire at Jüterbog is the biggest.
District Administrator Kornelia Wehlan (left) demanded that the state of Brandenburg assume the costs of the operation. It must be ensured that the state, as legislator, assumes financial responsibility, she told rbb on Friday afternoon.
“Fighting forest fires shouldn’t be a question of costs. It’s about good, about natural space and, above all, about people,” she said. In the case of the forest fire in Jüterbog, a quick and early decision by the district about the scope of the operation was necessary, now you shouldn’t be left with the costs, emphasized the district administrator.
The total costs of the fire service in the forest near Jüterbog cannot be quantified yet. However, it was done sparingly. The fire-fighting aircraft used on Thursday costs 3,600 euros per flight hour. “A machine from the Bundeswehr costs 32,000 euros per hour, one from the federal police costs 16,000 euros,” Wehlan explained.
A fire-fighting aircraft from the Harz supports the operation in Jüterbog
Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, June 2nd, 2023, 5:20 p.m