Fire brigades in eastern Saxony were hoping for weather support. But weather radar shows “fairly restricted precipitation, such that emergency services assume that no appreciable relaxation is expected with rainfall,” the Saxon Switzerland and East Orr Mountains office said.
On Saturday, 350 people took part in the fight against the fire. There are now 13 helicopters for firefighting flights. In addition, quads were ordered, with which firefighting crews could be supplied more easily and quickly. On Friday evening, during a helicopter reconnaissance flight, more fires with thick smoke were detected along the German-Czech border in the regions of Zschand and Barchenhorn.
A disaster alert has been issued
A devastating fire broke out in the Sandston Elbe Mountains in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic last weekend and spread to Saxon Switzerland National Park on Monday. Disaster alert is in place in the cities of Bad Schandau and Sebnitz. According to the new findings, about 150 hectares of forest were affected by the fires on the German side.
Although individual extreme events cannot be directly traced to a specific cause, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is clear that extreme weather events such as floods, storms and heat are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of the climate crisis. This means that rainfall and storms are getting heavier, heat waves are getting hotter and drought is getting drier.
According to the authorities, four firefighters have been injured in the operation so far. Two of them were taken to the hospital. There have been no injuries among the residents so far. With the disaster alarm triggered, she said, emergency services could be better coordinated and access to other emergency services could be assured to shutdown work.
The Czech Republic increases its commitment
On the Czech side in Switzerland’s Bohemian National Park, firefighters have stepped up their efforts. A spokesman said an additional 220 soldiers were withdrawn on Saturday from all over the Czech Republic. The number of firefighters in the operation increased to more than 650. The forest fire broke out over an area of 10.6 square kilometers, as confirmed by satellite images. The Bohemian Switzerland Park is located on the border of Saxony Switzerland.
“We will actively go to the glowing nests, pour water over them and dig the ground,” fire department spokesman Lucas Marfan told Czech television. The firefighting works are supported by eight helicopters and five firefighting aircraft. Access to large parts of the national park area is now blocked to keep onlookers away.
Relax in Brandenburg
But in the forest fire zone in the Elbe-Elster region of Brandenburg, on the border with Saxony, the situation has eased, according to official information. The area’s administrative staff said Saturday morning that there were still embers on the 500-hectare area that had to be quenched. And Friday evening, 250 emergency services were still battling the flames. The forest fire broke out on Monday and quickly spread to about 800 hectares.
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