60 hectares of forest on fire in Germany – 1,000 people were evacuated in Spain

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From: Lucas Maier, Sarah Neumeyer, Alina Schroeder


The unusually strong heat wave is leaving its mark on Europe as well. Several forest fires are raging in Germany. Spain is still struggling with the flames.

  • Persistent heat in Spain: The country has been struggling with drought for weeks – now forest fires have broken out.
  • Heat in Italy: Drinking water supply is largely halted due to drought.
  • Forest fires in Germany: rescue services are fighting fires in Brandenburg.

+++ 17:30: Forest fires continue to cause problems in northern Spain. Around 1,000 people had to be evacuated in the autonomous region of Navarre on Monday (June 20). They were housed in emergency shelters, according to the DPA.

The fire in the Sierra de la Culebra near the border with Portugal was extinguished, but destroyed around 25,000 hectares of forest. The economic consequences for the region are enormous.

Updates from Monday, June 20 13:50: The heat keeps Europe tense. Meteorologists have now announced a heat wave for Greece as well. After unusually heavy rainfall in some parts of the country recently, temperatures are now expected to skyrocket, according to the DPA.

Great heat in Europe: Spain continues to fight forest fires
293415383.jpg © Miguel Oses / dpa

It should be up to 40 degrees throughout Greece from Wednesday (June 22). According to experts, the heat should last at least until the weekend. In addition to health risks, the risk of forest fires also increases with heat. Several forest fires are currently raging in Brandenburg.

Heat in Europe: forest fires in Brandenburg

+++ 21:38: A forest fire broke out in Brandenburg. The fire spread to about 60 hectares by the evening, district spokeswoman Andrea Metzler said on Friday evening (June 17). The forest near Frohnsdorf near Treuenbrietzen (Potsdam-Mittelmark) is affected.

According to her, firefighters, police, army and technical assistance organizations (THW) were on the scene. A total of 380 forces are deployed. A massive cloud of smoke is visible south of Brandenburg, said Forest Fire Protection Officer Raimund Engel. Civil protection has asked the people around Treuenbrietzen, Linthe and Niemegk to keep the windows and doors closed. According to a district spokesman, the situation is dynamic. “The wind is changing, it’s very dry again,” Metzler said. So far, however, no cities are in danger, she stressed.

The use of firefighters could be difficult, as it is also an area in a suspected area with explosives, explained the forest fire guard. Areas that were already burning in 2018 are affected. “There have been detonations,” Engel reported. Therefore, firefighting work could only be performed from the edge.
Engel expects work to continue on Saturday.

Massive heat in Europe: The first forest fire in Germany – the danger is increasing nationwide

Updates from Friday, June 17 11:30 AM: The heat wave is now also moving across Germany to Germany. The German Meteorological Service (DWD) expects the warmest days of the year so far this weekend. It is expected to peak on Saturday with temperatures up to 38 degrees, as DWD announced on Thursday. The 40 degree mark can also be cracked locally. This has important implications for nature.

In Italy, the supply of drinking water is interrupted at night due to the continuing drought, and several forest fires are already raging in Spain. Germany is not spared either: another forest fire has broken out in the Harz Mountains. The area of ​​about five hectares is affected in Trecktal in the Upper Harz on the river Brocken, as a spokesman for the integrated control center in the Harz told the German news agency on Friday morning. This corresponds to the size of about seven football pitches. It is not yet clear why the fire occurred shortly after midnight. According to a Harz district spokesman, a large number of fire brigades are fighting the flames.

The heat wave is moving to Germany: The risk of forest fires is increasing nationwide.
The heat wave is moving to Germany: The risk of forest fires is increasing nationwide. © Matthias Bein / dpa

Heat and drought are spreading: the risk of forest fires is increasing in Germany

In other Länder, the risk of forest fires is increasing. It is very high in Berlin due to the persistent drought. The Senate Environmental Administration on Thursday called for strict compliance with the ban on smoking and grilling in and near the forest. Anyone who violates the smoking and fire ban must expect a fine of between € 100 and € 50,000.

And also in Baden-Württemberg, people are half past one: “Open fires and smoking are taboo in the forest,” said Agriculture Minister Peter Hauk (CDU). The risk of forest fires is also very high in other Länder, such as Bavaria or Hesse.

Heat in Italy: Authorities want to declare a state of emergency

Updates from Thursday, June 16 20:30: A huge heat wave has hit southern Europe. There have been several forest fires in Spain, and in Italy the heat is now causing water shortages in some areas. In the heavily agricultural area of ​​the Po Valley in Italy, some communities now distribute water for rations.

In the northern Italian regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, where the Po Valley is located, the authorities wanted to declare a state of emergency on Thursday (June 16). This was announced by Lombard President Attilio Fontana. He spoke of an “extremely difficult situation”. The fall is the longest river in Italy and is the largest reservoir in the country. However, according to the regional meteorological observatory, it did not rain for more than 110 days in some areas. It is the worst drought in the Po Valley in the last 70 years.

According to the Coldiretti Agricultural Association, the drought threatens half of the cultivated area in the Po Valley and almost a third of the country’s agricultural production. The declaration of a state of emergency allows the authorities to monitor water distribution more closely and to initiate financial assistance to the affected areas.

Heat in Spain: big alarm due to several forest fires

First report from Thursday, June 16: Barcelona – The Iberian Peninsula is currently plagued by a strong heat wave. This has consequences: the authorities in Catalonia in north-eastern Spain have sounded a great alarm for all the fire brigades over three forest fires that were raging at the same time.

In total, around 1,100 hectares of forest and bushy land have been destroyed so far, firefighters announced on Thursday. In addition to professional fire brigades, helicopters, drones and units of the military special emergency department are also deployed. The flames in areas where it rained too little are fed by heat waves and sometimes strong winds.

Extremely intense heat is causing several forest fires in Spain.
Extremely intense heat is causing several forest fires in Spain. © Emilio Fraile / dpa

Heat wave in Spain: Several forest fires are raging in the north

According to firefighters, the biggest problem is the fire in Artesa de Segre in the province of Lleida, about 130 kilometers northwest of Barcelona. More than 500 hectares of forest have been destroyed since the fire broke out the day before. If the flames on the south flank fail to stop, there is a risk that the fire will spread to the Segre Valley and affect up to 20,000 hectares of forest. The authorities called on all farmers in the region to help build fire brigades with their tractors and plows.

Other, slightly smaller fires were reported from Corbera d’Ebre (Tarragona) and Castellar de la Ribera (Lleida). The flames there lost about 300 hectares.

Spain is currently plagued by an unusually early and especially long heat wave. Since last weekend, temperatures of 35 to well over 40 degrees have been measured in many parts of the country. More than 19,000 hectares of forest and shrubland have been burned since the beginning of the year, state television RTVE said on Wednesday, June 15, citing data from the European Earth observation system Copernicus. This is about twice the average for the same periods from 2006 to 2021. Experts attribute the development to the consequences of man-made climate change. (asc / dpa)

The risk of fire is also increasing in Germany and neighboring countries due to the heat. A forest fire recently broke out near Neuschwanstein Castle.

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