Bavaria: fire brigades prepared for wildfires: farmers help

The rain brought a short breather, but the next heat wave could lead to more fires on the meadows and fields, especially in northern Bavaria.

Bavaria: fire brigades prepared for wildfires: farmers help

The rain brought a short breather, but the next heat wave could lead to more fires on the meadows and fields, especially in northern Bavaria. Are the fire brigades well prepared? Help comes from agriculture - and from the air.

Karlstadt/Bamberg (dpa/lby) - Here a baler that catches fire, there a combine harvester: Above all on hot days, northern Bavaria in particular has been affected by many wildfires in recent weeks. The firefighters in the Free State could respond well to this challenge, said Johann Eitzenberger, head of the State Fire Brigade Association (LFV): "The Bavarian fire brigades are also well equipped for wildfires."

Machines are no longer the only problem. Eitzenberger also referred to a statement by the German Fire Brigade Association, according to which it is strongly recommended not only to refrain from smoking, barbecuing or open fires in dry conditions, not only in forests but also in meadows and fields.

Nevertheless, wildfires can become a challenge for the emergency services, because there are no hydrants outside of built-up areas where extinguishing water can be sucked up quickly. Those responsible for the district fire inspection Main-Spessart in Lower Franconia have therefore started the "Red Farmer" campaign: Farmers can register their liquid manure tanks with the fire brigade. They are then contacted on a mission to transport water.

"The technology is in the yard. Why shouldn't we involve the farmers?" said Benedict Rottmann, district fire chief and spokesman for the inspection. The response was very good: "We are totally impressed". In the meantime, fire brigades from all over the country have also reported who want to copy the action in their region.

Due to the persistent drought, the harvested crops have also dried up. If, for example, sparks are caused by stones in the devices, dust in the machines can be ignited - and the fire often spreads to a larger area. The stronger the drought, the higher the risk of machine and wildfires.

According to Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU), fire-fighting helicopters are available in Bavaria to support the fire brigades. "Helicopters have the advantage that they can deploy fire-fighting water very precisely or supply ground crews with fire-fighting water with pinpoint accuracy," he said in mid-July. Unlike firefighting aircraft, helicopters are also able to take in water from comparatively small bodies of water. Helicopters from the Bavarian police, the Federal Police, the Bundeswehr or private providers are available. 50 external fire water tanks are available at 18 locations.

With the onset of the heatwave in mid-July, hardly a day goes by at the Bavarian police helicopter squadron (PHuStBy) that they are not called upon to support the fire brigade, the riot police recently announced.

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