Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Increased camera surveillance: early detection of forest fires

Kaliss/Schwerin (dpa/mv) - When fighting forest fires, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania relies on prevention and early detection.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Increased camera surveillance: early detection of forest fires

Kaliss/Schwerin (dpa/mv) - When fighting forest fires, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania relies on prevention and early detection. As Minister of Agriculture Till Backhaus (SPD) announced on Wednesday in the Kaliß forestry office (Ludwigslust-Parchim district), cameras have now been installed at 22 locations across the country. With their help, around 291,000 hectares of forest and thus half of the country's total forest area could be monitored. Particularly endangered areas are completely covered. At the slightest sign of smoke, the forest fire operations center in Mirow becomes active and alerts the local authorities.

"The terrible forest fire here in the Lübtheener Heide in 2019 taught us that forest fires, especially in areas contaminated with ammunition, should not be taken lightly," emphasized Backhaus. At that time, 950 hectares of forest caught fire and several villages had to be evacuated. Since then, another 340,000 euros have been invested in the monitoring system. With the help of a program worth millions from the Ministry of the Interior, modern extinguishing technology was also purchased, which was primarily stationed in endangered regions.

Backhaus hopes that so-called forest fire wound strips, on which combustible material has been removed as far as possible, will provide better protection against the spread of the flames. Since 2019, around 430 kilometers of it have been laid every year, almost 50 percent more than before. "Prevention is the best way to fight forest fires," emphasized the minister at the opening of the specialist center for forest fire protection in Kaliss. According to him, as a result of climate change, the risk of forest fires is also increasing. Because of the dry spring again, high forest fire warning levels had to be proclaimed for large parts of the country at times.

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