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Environment: First all-clear for forest fires

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On Friday, the fire brigade fought a large forest fire on the state border of Brandenburg and Saxony. Two towns were evacuated. In the evening there was a first relaxation.

In the case of the large forest fire on the border between Saxony and Brandenburg, the situation relaxed significantly late on Friday evening.

The emergency services managed to get the flames under control to such an extent that further danger to the evacuated locations of Kröbeln and Kosilenzien could be largely ruled out, the Brandenburg district of Elbe-Elster said on Friday evening. The evacuation was therefore lifted at 9:00 p.m.

According to the district, the fire in the Gohrischheide area in Saxony had spread to Brandenburg over the course of the day due to the unfavorable wind conditions. In the afternoon, therefore, the major damage situation was declared, and Kosilenzien and Kröbeln were evacuated. Around 800 hectares were at times in flames. The extinguishing work was made more difficult because some of the areas involved were munitions and the areas could not be entered.

Difficult conditions when extinguishing

There has never been a similarly large forest fire in the area, said the spokeswoman for the Zeithain fire brigade, Dorit Riedel. “We’ve never had anything like this here in recent years.” The extinguishing work in Gohrischheide was made more difficult because some of the areas involved were munitions and the areas cannot be entered. “It’s an old military training ground. Emergency services who were on site reported that there were always small explosions, »said Riedel.

The fire broke out on Thursday in the north of the Meissen district in Saxony. The fire seemed to be under control for a while, but the wind fanned it again and made it bigger. The police asked to drive around the area. Residents should keep windows closed.

According to the fire department on Friday evening, the situation on the Saxon side had eased a little earlier than in Brandenburg. There are no longer any large-scale flames and the fire is under control for the time being, said operations manager Matthias Heydel from the Zeithain fire brigade. “The worst is done for now.” The number of emergency services in Saxony should be significantly reduced overnight, but fire guards should continue to keep an eye on the situation. Further extinguishing work would then be tackled on Saturday. According to the information, around 160 emergency services were on the road.

Fire brigades from the Spree-Neisse district had also been requested on the Brandenburg side. Emergency services from Cottbus were also on their way to the scene of the fire with three tank fire engines, a command vehicle and a crew transporter. According to the Lausitz regional control center, there were more than a hundred emergency services. Two Federal Police transport helicopters were also used.

Just last weekend, two forest fires in Treuenbrietzen and Beelitz, south of Berlin, posed a great danger. Hundreds of firefighters, supported by Bundeswehr soldiers, were deployed. About 200 hectares were in flames at a time. Firefighters continue to monitor developments there.