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Monday, October 2, 2023

Concerns over heatwave as wildfires continue to flare up in Germany

Rain is necessary to ease the forest fire in Germany’s Saxon Switzerland national park that started more than a week ago, the local authority said Tuesday, August 2, 2022, while the wildfire in Brandenburg was finally extinguished.

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In the eastern German national park, pockets of embers and fire in the ground kept re-igniting.

This was aided by rising temperatures and drought, said Thomas Kunz, the district’s spokesman.

“For the situation to ease, we need rain,’’ he said.

The wind can also cause embers to spread quickly, he noted.

Barriers were being erected in the ground between the Winterberg and Zschand areas.

Some 300 firefighters were deployed on Tuesday morning, with 550 expected throughout the day.

Water cannons were also being used to distribute water on the edge of paths to reduce the spread of embers.

The fire had first started in the Bohemian Switzerland park in the neighbouring Czech Republic and then spread across the border to the Saxon Switzerland park.

Authorities said on Monday that the Bohemian Switzerland fire was under control.

In the eastern state of Brandenburg, a large forest fire has been extinguished after burning for more than a week.

The deputy chief of the district fire brigade, Martin Neumann, announced on Tuesday.

Returning supervision of the area where the fire had burned to its owners was the next challenge, Neumann said.

The district will continue to supervise the area for any signs of fires re-kindling on Wednesday, but after that, the responsibility would be passed back to the owners of the land.

Neumann said that the fire brigade was conducting maintenance on its technical equipment to ensure its readiness for another potential emergency.

In spite of the good news, concerns remain.

Another heatwave is expected to bring temperatures of up to 34 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and up to 37 degrees on Thursday.

Some regions of Brandenburg would be put under the highest alert level for forest fires on Wednesday, with practically the whole of the region to follow on Thursday. 

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