Status: 07/26/2022 09:34
Forests burn in Brandenburg and Saxon Switzerland. Hundreds of people had to be brought to safety. In the Elbe-Elster district, rail traffic between Leipzig and Cottbus was interrupted.
The Brandenburg fire brigade continues to fight the large forest fire in the district of Elbe-Elster. The situation was “very tense”, a fire department spokesman told the dpa news agency. The fire is not yet under control. It is still burning over an area of 800 hectares.
The village of Kölsa in the town of Falkenberg (Elster) is particularly affected. During the fight against the fire with around 400 emergency services, seven emergency services were injured, six of them had to be taken to hospital. The towns of Kölsa, Kölsa-Siedlung and Rehfeld, which belong to the city of Falkenberg/Elster, were evacuated. About 700 people are affected. According to reports, the village of Marxdorf may also have to be evacuated.
The fire had spread in a very short time on Monday. The district classified the fire as a major damage situation. In addition, a piglet farm burned down. Many animals have died. The exact number was initially unclear.
“Major fire continues to aggressively spread,” the district warned. The gusts of wind would make extinguishing work “significantly” more difficult and sometimes even “impossible”. Fighting the fire could take several days. For Tuesday, among other things, Bundeswehr helicopters and a police helicopter have been requested, said deputy forest fire protection officer Philipp Haase.
Rail traffic interrupted
Due to the forest fire in the Elbe-Elster district, Deutsche Bahn interrupted rail traffic between Leipzig and Cottbus. The section between Torgau and Falkenberg on the RE10 line is affected, said a Deutsche Bahn spokesperson in the morning.
Areas north of Berlin near Gransee are also affected. There, firefighters from the Oberhavel district fought a fire on around 60 hectares of fields and forests. That could be contained, the forest fire protection expert said. Hundreds of rescuers were on the scene.
Fire in Saxon Switzerland
A forest fire that started in Czech Bohemian Switzerland National Park has spread to Saxon Switzerland National Park. For the municipalities of Sebnitz and Bad Schandau, the regional office for Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains triggered a preliminary stage of disaster alarm on Monday, a spokesperson said.
“Our big problem is the wind,” said a spokesman for the Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains regional office, referring to the spread of the fire.
While on Monday there was still a high risk of forest fires in parts of Germany – especially in the east – this is expected to decrease on Tuesday according to the German Meteorological Service’s forest fire risk index.
As of Tuesday morning, 136 emergency services were still on site, a district spokesperson said. A helicopter should explore the situation in the morning. There were three major deployment sites in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, Restaurant Großer Winterberg, Kipphorn and Kleiner Winterberg.