The forest fires in Beelitz and Treuenbrietzen burned down an area the size of almost 300 football pitches. The immediate danger has been averted, but the fire brigade cannot completely move away. The reason is deep nests of embers that can reignite the fire in dry and windy conditions.
The devastating forest fires in Brandenburg near Beelitz and Treuenbrietzen have been extinguished - but the fire brigade must continue to keep the embers in the forest areas under control. These sit up to 70 centimeters deep in the ground and could stay there for weeks, said the spokeswoman for the Potsdam Mittelmark district, Andrea Metzler. The fire could be reignited in dry and windy conditions, so firefighters would continue to monitor the situation closely.
On Monday, 230 firefighters had watered the fire areas. These should also remain overnight, said Metzler. Temperatures should rise again today. The mayor of the city of Beelitz, Bernhard Knuth, announced that the fire was still under control. "Currently, the fire brigade, federal police and armed forces are in action to ensure that the fire-fighting work lasts through the night."
At the weekend, two large forest areas in the Potsdam-Mittelmark district, which are only about 20 kilometers apart, burned. Huge plumes of smoke hung over the area. With changing winds, the fires spread rapidly. About 200 hectares of forest burned in each of the two forest areas - each covering an area of almost 300 football pitches.
The fight against the flames is particularly difficult in the area: Because ammunition and explosive devices lie in the ground of a former blasting and training area, the firefighters could not get to the fire directly. The fire can detonate ammunition hidden in the ground. Bundeswehr helicopters therefore took tens of thousands of liters of water from a nearby quarry pond during dozens of flights and extinguished it from above.
After heavy rain fell on Monday morning, most of the fires were extinguished. Hundreds of residents who had been taken to safety as a precaution were able to return to their homes in the morning. Up to 1,400 rescue workers were deployed to put out the fire. The Bundeswehr and the Federal Police supported the work with fire-fighting helicopters.