Fierce forest fires have been raging in south-west France for weeks. 65 specialized firefighters from the Rhineland helped to extinguish the fire. Their experiences should also flow into the training of fire brigades in Germany.
Bonn (dpa / lnw) - After the deployment of the North Rhine-Westphalian forest fire unit in France, the Bonn fire brigade in charge drew a positive conclusion. "The goals have been achieved: the operation worked well, the cooperation with the local authorities worked well," said the deputy head of the Bonn fire brigade, Marcus Hinz, of the German Press Agency. 65 firefighters from Bonn, Düsseldorf, Leverkusen, Königswinter and Ratingen spent almost a week in south-west France to help fight the forest fires.
"The main task was to limit the areas of fire in the Bordeaux region and to prevent further spread," said Hinz. "For this purpose, fire breaks were created and fire nests detected. Individual buildings had to be protected from the fire." According to the local authorities, the fire on the Atlantic coast is now under control.
Fighting forest and vegetation fires involves risks that differ from those of other fires, Hinz explained. Trees with damaged roots could fall over. Wind can cause the fire to change direction: "You have to be careful not to get trapped in the fire." When fire-fighting helicopters fly, you have to be careful not to get hit by their water.
The NRW "forest fire module" is a specialized fire brigade unit that is unique in Germany and is registered with the European Union as part of civil protection. She had her test last year in forest fires in Greece. Before the deployment in France, the French authorities had made a request for help through the EU.
The experiences from the foreign missions will also flow into the work of the fire brigades in Germany, as Hinz said. For example, there will be recommendations for training and technical equipment in forest fires.