The forest fire near Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg is out of control. After the residents of the Frohnsdorf and Tiefenbrunnen districts were asked to leave their apartments, the evacuation is now also being prepared in Klausdorf. This was announced by the city of Treuenbrietzen via Twitter: “We hereby give Klausdorf the advance warning of the evacuation. ALL citizens please prepare to leave their homes in an orderly and quiet manner.”
According to dpa information, the residents of the Bardenitz district are also being prepared for the evacuation.
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Because of the impending danger from the nearby forest fire near Treuenbrietzen, southwest of Berlin, the residents of Tiefenbrunnen and Frohnsdorf had to leave their homes on Sunday morning. The evacuation has started, said a spokesman for the Potsdam-Mittelmark district’s disaster management team. About 20 citizens are affected. They had already been warned on Saturday and were able to prepare.
The residents are asked to leave their apartments “immediately” and go to emergency accommodation in the town hall of Treuenbrietzen.
In an official hazard notification, residents are asked to pay attention to announcements by the police and fire brigade and to follow the instructions of the emergency services. Neighbors should be informed, assistance should be provided if necessary.
“The situation is coming to a head dramatically,” said the spokeswoman for the district, Andrea Metzler, the PNN on Sunday afternoon. “It looks menacing.” This is because the wind has shifted. Now the district of Frohnsdorf is also being evacuated to Tiefenbrunnen, and the operations center is being moved from Frohnsdorf to the fire station in Treuenbrietzen.
According to Metzler, it cannot be ruled out that other towns will have to be evacuated. The number of emergency services is to be increased to 750. Armored recovery vehicles have been requested, and a second Bundeswehr helicopter is also to be deployed on Sunday.
The district administrator of the Potsdam-Mittelmark district had declared the disaster, said a spokesman for the regional control center of the fire brigade in Brandenburg an der Havel.
According to RBB information, the flames have now spread over an area of 200 hectares, and the fire has also spread beyond the blocked B 102.
Because ammunition and explosive ordnance lie in the ground on the site – a former blasting and training area – the firefighters cannot get close to the fire. If the fire goes through the area, ammunition hidden in the ground can explode.
In addition, self-ignition is possible. Firefighters can therefore not simply drive into the forest area and put out the fire there. You would put your life in danger. A complete clearing of the site from explosive ordnance would cause immense costs.
The district had already announced on Saturday that due to the increasing smoke development, there was a possibility that the residents of Tiefenbrunnen would have to be temporarily evacuated for reasons of caution.
The current wind conditions would have led to an expansion of the area of application, it said. The Bundeswehr has also been supporting firefighting with fire-fighting flights since Saturday evening.
The district had submitted a corresponding request for administrative assistance, the Air Force said on the short message service Twitter. Soldiers from the district liaison command Potsdam-Mittelmark are also involved.
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht thanked the deployed soldiers on Twitter: “The Bundeswehr is there when it is needed. Thanks to our men and women who are currently helping to fight the forest fire near Treuenbrietzen.”
In the fight against the fire that broke out on Friday evening, it initially looked like a success on Saturday. The fire could be contained from two 60 hectares to 42 hectares, as Raimund Engel, forest fire protection officer for the state of Brandenburg, explained on Saturday morning.
A fire protection unit from Havelland with 200 workers arrived on site in the morning to relieve the firefighters, said Engel. From midday, a fire-fighting helicopter was to be deployed to support firefighting from the air.
Because the helicopters were also supposed to take water from the quarry pond, the municipality warned potential bathers not to be in the water at the same time. The forest protection officer Engel had also warned in the morning that gusts of wind could reignite the fire.
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Brandenburg fire brigades went out on Saturday to further fires due to drought. Around 160 cubic meters of compost caught fire in Jühnsdorf (Teltow-Fläming), according to the control center of the Brandenburg/Havel fire brigade. The fire has since been extinguished, the spokesman said. However, follow-up checks would take some time.
In Lüdendorf near Treuenbrietzen, three hectares of forest caught fire. The forest also burned in Radeland, a district of the town of Baruth/Mark. The fire was stopped shortly before the settlement border, it said.
Firefighters were also called to a fire in the Altes Lager area, a district of the municipality of Niedergörsdorf. This fire is also under control. The extinguishing work continued, however, said the spokesman.
The extinguishing work in Frohnsdorf is made more difficult because the forest area is also an area suspected of being explosive ordnance. On Saturday, the highest forest fire danger level 5 applied across the country. The Potsdam-Mittelmark district took over the management of the operation.
Numerous emergency services from the region were also on site during the night, the Potsdam fire brigade also moved out, and the Brandenburg police’s water cannons were used. “Thank you to all the aid organizations that are going beyond their limits in these high temperatures,” wrote the district’s civil protection department on Facebook. And: “We are currently in the same place for the forest fire as in 2018. Thanks to the residents who are supporting us here diligently.”
On Friday, 380 forces had already been deployed. A massive cloud of smoke can be seen as far south as Brandenburg, said Raimund Engel, forest fire protection officer for the state of Brandenburg.
Civil protection asked the population on Friday to keep windows and doors closed in the area around Treuenbrietzen, Linthe and Niemegk. The district spokeswoman said the situation was dynamic. “The wind is changing, it’s very dry again,” said Metzler. So far, however, no towns are in danger, she emphasized.
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In 2018, flames raged for several days in the forest southwest of Berlin in Treuenbrietzen. At that time, around 400 hectares of forest had been destroyed.