Potsdam – The rain on the night of Whit Monday brought some relaxation to Brandenburg’s forests.
The state’s forest fire protection officer, Raimund Engel, had already been cautiously optimistic about the situation on Sunday. “After four fires on Friday, which all affected less than one hectare and could be quickly extinguished, it was very quiet afterwards,” he told the Tagesspiegel.
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“That was probably also due to the fact that the temperatures did not climb quite as high as originally announced,” says Engel. In addition, it had even rained a little in the particularly dry south, so that the responsible Lausitz control center did not record a single forest fire on Saturday.
Even on Pentecost Sunday there were only smaller operations in the Spree-Neisse district, as a spokesman said: “But overall this is a relaxed situation.”
There were nine forest fires in Brandenburg over the holidays, Raimund Engel said on Monday to the German Press Agency (DPA). Since the beginning of the season, the number of forest fires in the state has risen to almost 160.
In almost all Brandenburg districts, the forest fire danger level 4 applied on Sunday. The highest danger level 5 was declared for the Havelland district, in the Uckermark danger level 3 applied. The consequence, however, is not only an absolute smoking ban in the forests, said Engel: “Already from danger level 4 Smoking, barbecuing or otherwise using open fire is not permitted within a distance of 50 meters from the forest.”
After the precipitation on Whit Monday, the forest fire danger levels have now been lowered. With the exception of the districts of Elbe-Elster, Potsdam-Mittelmark, Havelland and Prignitz, for which level 3 (“medium risk”) is reported, level 2 applies everywhere, i.e. a low risk. Due to continued high temperatures and too little rain, Engel expects the risk of forest fires to increase again on Tuesday.
In view of the extreme drought, compliance with the regulations is still very important, said the forest fire protection officer: “Many are wrong about the amount of precipitation in the past week. There were regions that got almost nothing at all.” In addition, the rainwater did not even reach the deeper layers of the earth due to evaporation and wind, so that streams and rivers were already suffering from a lack of water. “That’s why every drop of rain is important and necessary.”