26.07.2022, Brandenburg, Falkenberg: Rauch steigt in einem Wald im Landkreis Elbe-Elster vom Boden auf. Foto: Sebastian Willnow/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Waldbauernverband Brandenburg is demanding more support from the state for private forest owners in forest fire prevention. Individual forest owners are sometimes overwhelmed with maintaining forest fire protection strips on roads and railway lines and with building paths, said Chairman Enno Rosenthal.

He sees responsibility in the future with the state. The state forest authorities should take over forest fire prevention with the help of EU funds, since they have better staff and technical equipment, said Rosenthal.

The care of the forest fire protection strips – areas that are freed from easily combustible material such as brushwood and dry branches – has so far been the responsibility of the individual forest owners. The state of Brandenburg, in which large fires are raging again this year, is considered to be the state with the highest risk of forest fires nationwide.

The chairmen of forestry associations are meeting in Seddiner See this Saturday to discuss better forest management.

The Waldbauernverband Brandenburg, which represents owners of small forest areas, reported a firewood boom this year. Demand has exploded and can hardly be met, Rosenthal said. “People are rushing to local raw materials. But there is no dry firewood left for this winter,” he said.

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The Federal Association of Firewood also reported at the beginning of July that dealers can no longer meet the demand in many places. Experts see the Ukraine war, concerns about the energy supply and rising gas and heating oil prices as reasons for the increased demand for wood-burning stoves.