Latest World News

Forest fire near Jüterbog flared up again due to wind


Firefighting helicopter also in action on Friday

Forest fire near Jüterbog flared up again due to wind

dpa/TNN/Sven Kaeuler

Audio: rbb24 Inforadio | 08.06.2023 | Cards Stonemason | Picture: dpa/TNN/Sven Kaeuler

The fire situation worsens again: wind picks up – and fans the forest fire on the former military training area near Jüterbog again. The fire brigade is trying to contain the fire again.

  • Helicopters and fire-fighting aircraft in action again in Jüterbog forest fire
  • According to the weather forecast, no rain announced
  • The total operational area is 656 hectares

Freshening wind fanned the forest fire near Jüterbog (Teltow-Fläming) on ​​Friday afternoon. “There is a tricky situation again,” said the head of the municipal regulatory office, Christiane Lindner-Klopsch. At one point, the fire spread to a previously intact forest area.

There is currently a fire in four different places, said the situation manager of the regional fire brigade control center in Brandenburg an der Havel to rbb. According to him, one of them is probably outside the main fire area. Two fire protection units from Teltow-Fläming are on their way, involving around 100 firefighters and 15 fire engines. They would now position themselves along the cleared paths and from there water the area to keep the fire at bay.

The problem remains that the fire brigade cannot get to the fire directly because the area is polluted with ammunition. The embers flared up again due to the wind, the increasing air pressure and the high temperatures. The fire and smoke are currently worse than in the days before, according to the situation manager.

The situation had calmed down on Friday. According to the head of operations, the use of fire-fighting helicopters had been successful. The use of a federal police helicopter and a fire-fighting aircraft the day before “had really achieved something,” said Lindner-Klopsch. The helicopter is still in use on Friday afternoon.

Hardly any rain announced

Strong winds had already fueled the forest fire significantly in the middle of the week. According to Lindner-Klopsch, 656 hectares are now affected. That is twice the area as on Wednesday.

Brandenburg forest fire officer Raimund Engel is concerned about the weather forecast for the coming days. Hardly any rain has been announced, he said. This means that the firefighters are left to their own devices. It is also crucial how the wind develops in the next few days.

In Brandenburg, seven of the 14 districts have the highest forest fire risk level five on Friday: in the north the districts of Ostprignitz-Ruppin, Oberhavel, Barnim and Uckermark, as well as the districts of Märkisch-Oderland, Oder-Spree and Spree-Neiße in the east.

Firefighters from neighboring community help

Because of the risk of explosion at the former military training area near Jüterbog, the fire brigade cannot get close to the source of the fire. With the fire-fighting helicopter and plane, the firefighting was resumed from the air on Thursday. They were used last week.

According to the federal police, the helicopter can transport around 1,800 liters of water per flight, with a total of 144,000 liters transported on Thursday. A measuring drone should also be used to gain insights into the extent of the fire.

According to the fire brigade, they keep the paths wet with sprinkler systems so that the fire does not spread to another area. According to rbb information, around 50 forces and six vehicles were in action on Thursday afternoon. So that local forces could catch their breath, they were supported by firefighters from a neighboring community.

Strong smoke and odor development

According to the authorities, localities are still not in danger. However, areas more than 30 kilometers away up to the Berlin city limits were also affected by the heavy smoke development. As a spokesman for the control center of the Brandenburg fire brigade told rbb on Thursday morning when asked, many residents from Potsdam and the Potsdam-Mittelmark district had noticed the smell of fire and therefore called the emergency number. The smoke initially decreased due to the humidity during the night, but increased again during the course of the day.

Graphic forest fire near Jüterbog on June 8, 2023. (Source: rbb)

The owner of the area is the Brandenburg Natural Landscape Foundation. Managing Director Andreas Meißner told rbb late Wednesday evening that it was a large area, but the situation was not out of control. Since Monday, pines that are considered to be more flammable have also been specifically removed in order to widen narrow areas within the protective bars.

Fire at Jüterbog leaves nature destroyed

Biggest forest fire in 30 years, also near Jüterbog

There has been a fire in the munitions-loaded area since Wednesday last week. The Forest fire according to the authorities, developed differently again and again.

In large parts of Brandenburg, there is currently a high to very high risk of forest fires with rising temperatures and drought. The forest fire protection officer Engel told rbb on Thursday evening that the highest danger level five would apply in most districts on Friday. An exception is the south of Brandenburg, where there was a bit of rain.

According to Engel, more than 120 forest fires have been registered in Brandenburg this year, most of them since May.

Three years ago, the largest forest fire in Brandenburg since 1990 also affected 744 hectares near Jüterbog. At that time, too, the ammunition in the ground caused difficulties for the firefighters. No other federal state is considered to be as heavily contaminated with explosive ordnance and ammunition as Brandenburg. Numerous areas were already used in the imperial period, then in the Second World War and later by the Soviet army.

Broadcast: Antenne Brandenburg, 09.06.2023, 09:00 a.m