Forest fire: Saxony: the federal government wants to contribute to the costs of use

The federal government wants to continue to support the state in fighting the forest fire in Saxon Switzerland.

Forest fire: Saxony: the federal government wants to contribute to the costs of use

The federal government wants to continue to support the state in fighting the forest fire in Saxon Switzerland. Several Bundeswehr helicopters are also helping to extinguish the fire there. "In such a situation, costs have never been settled. And that's why I see no reason to deviate from this," said Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Monday during a visit to Schmilka.

Not far from the German-Czech border town, forest fires are raging in both Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland. A week after the outbreak, the extinguishing work continues.

"The situation is stable, but embers are always being discovered," said the spokesman for the Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains district office, Thomas Kunz, on Monday on request. The main task is now to fight the embers in the ground with barriers.

Cost sharing part of solidarity

According to Lambrecht, solidarity and support include talking about the distribution of costs in such a situation. She also spoke to the Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer (CDU). "We agree that we will find a good solution," said Lambrecht. "The Bundeswehr is on duty when it is called." She was very impressed by the precision and quality of the firefighting operation. It is the Bundeswehr that shows in such situations that "we are there for each other and stand by each other". According to Lambrecht, the helicopters should initially be available until next Sunday.

The minister was briefed by the Operations Center and undertook a reconnaissance flight over the fire area together with Kretschmer and Bundeswehr General Carsten Breuer. Meanwhile, fire-fighting helicopters flew water from the Elbe into the fire area almost every minute.

"The fire tore a gaping wound here in the national park," said Kretschmer afterwards. Of course, nature will also heal this wound. "But we will have to deal with it for a long time." You will have to deal with the consequences of this for forest management, educating the population and preventive fire protection. The point is to position yourself more strongly in order to be able to act quickly in the event of a forest fire.

Fire travels underground

During the extinguishing work, the ground is first turned by hand with a spade and a carpet of foam is spread out of the air. "This is how the moisture should penetrate deep into the ground and extinguish the nests of embers. The fire literally moves on in the ground under the emergency services," explained district office spokesman Kunz.

Up to 15 helicopters are in use. In addition to the machines that drop extinguishing water on the source of the fire from the air, there are reconnaissance flights. "With their thermal imaging cameras, they deliver live images of embers to the operations center," explained Kunz.

The fire broke out a week ago in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic and spread to the Saxon Switzerland National Park last Monday.

In the meantime, after heavy rainfall, the fire situation in Arzberg in the district of North Saxony has eased significantly. "The fire brigade operation ended yesterday and our support forces were also released from the operation," the police said on Twitter on Monday morning. The forest fire broke out in Brandenburg last week and spread across the state border to Saxony.

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