Saxony: Government sets up expert commission on forest fires

Dresden (dpa/sn) - In response to the devastating forest fires this summer, the Saxon government has appointed an independent commission of experts.

Saxony: Government sets up expert commission on forest fires

Dresden (dpa/sn) - In response to the devastating forest fires this summer, the Saxon government has appointed an independent commission of experts. It should evaluate the events and processes objectively and derive measures for better prevention, control and aftercare of forest fires, as Head of State Oliver Schenk (CDU) announced on Tuesday after the cabinet meeting. The establishment of such a commission does not mean that there is criticism of firefighting. Schenk thanked all emergency services for their work over the past few weeks.

Forest fires in Gohrischheide (Meissen district), in Arzberg (Northern Saxony) and in Saxon Switzerland had kept the fire brigades in suspense for weeks. "After the extinguishing work has been completed, it is now important to learn lessons for the future," said Schenk. Findings from the commission are to be incorporated into the "strategic forest fire concept" of the Ministry of the Interior and into a forest fire protection concept of the Ministry of the Environment for the Saxon Switzerland National Park.

After the floods in 2002 and 2013, Saxony had already appointed expert commissions to deal with what happened. Hermann Schröder, long-standing head of the Civil Protection and Crisis Management department in Baden-Württemberg, will chair the commission for protection against forest fires. The Commission includes five other experts. If possible, it should present the first results by the end of the year.

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