11.08.2022, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schierke: Flammen lodern in der Nacht im Nationalpark Harz bei Schierke. Seit Donnerstag brennt eine größere Waldfläche im Nationalparkgebiet Harz. Foto: Matthias Bein/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The forest fire in the Harz National Park between Schierke and the Brocken is spatially under control for the time being – but that could change again during the day. “We see the tendency that today, with rising temperatures and freshening winds, the spread will continue faster again,” said operations manager Marco Söchting on Friday.

Very difficult hillsides and a rugged terrain were extremely demanding for the firefighters, said the district fire chief of the Harz district in Saxony-Anhalt, Kai-Uwe Lohse. In addition, tall deadwood trees posed an acute danger. Operations manager Söchting added: “There are areas that we cannot walk into.” The risk of the burning treetops breaking off the trees is too great in places.

The fire was reported on Thursday as a small fire, but quickly moved on due to updrafts, said Söchting. Most of the extinguishing work was temporarily suspended overnight, but resumed in the morning hours.

So far, the forces have at least managed to keep the fire under control, according to Söchting. According to the information, an area of ​​13 hectares is affected. According to the district, localities are not threatened.

The number of emergency services is currently growing to 300, said Lohse late in the morning. If you count the firefighters who have been replaced, around 500 people have been involved in the extinguishing work so far. According to the information, the emergency services come from all over Saxony-Anhalt and sometimes also from Lower Saxony.

Since Friday there has also been support from the air. A total of four helicopters were to be deployed during the morning. In addition to a Bundeswehr transport helicopter, two helicopters from the Federal Police and one from a private company were to help extinguish the fire.

One has the situation of the forest fire in Saxony in mind, said District Administrator Thomas Balcerowski (CDU). It must be avoided that underground fires continue to find fuel. A similar “flaming inferno” as in Saxony must be prevented in the next few days.