MHLBERG/ZEITHAIN (dpa-AFX) – Fires on the state border of Saxony and Brandenburg continued to spread across the country on Friday. “We are now assuming a total of 800 hectares in both countries, about half each in Saxony and Brandenburg,” said Ralph Meier from the Brandenburg police on Friday evening. The villages of Kosielnzien and Krebeln in the Elbe-Elster district on the Brandenburg side were evacuated. He comes from the town of Bad Liebenwerda. It was initially unclear how many people had to leave their homes.
Dorit Riedel, a spokeswoman for the Zithen Fire Department, said the area had never seen such a large conflagration. “We haven’t seen anything like this here in recent years.” Extinguishing at Göhrishhead was made more difficult as some of the affected areas contained ammunition and the areas could not be entered. “It’s an old military training ground. Rescue workers on site reported that small explosions kept occurring,” said Riedel.
A fire broke out in the north of the Saxon district of Mayen on Thursday. The fire was brought under control for some time, but the wind extinguished it and increased it. The police asked to bypass the area. Residents should keep windows closed.
At least on the Saxon side, according to the fire brigade, normality returned by Friday evening. So far there has been no major fire and the fire has been brought under control, said Mathias Heidel, head of the Zithen fire brigade. A helicopter was also involved. “The worst is over for the time being.” The number of emergency services in Saxony is to be significantly reduced overnight, but the fire brigade should keep an eye on the situation. The extinguishing work will then begin on Saturday. According to the information, about 160 rescue services are in action.
A major damage situation was declared on the Brandenburg side. The fire brigade is trying to bring the situation under control with firefighting helicopters, thermal imaging cameras and a large contingent of emergency services, said the district fire chief for the Elbe-Elster district, Stefan Ludwig. The constantly changing winds would have fueled the fire. “We are trying to calm down and stabilize the situation.” In addition, a request was made to the Spree-Nei district fire brigade. Emergency services from Cottbus were also on site with three tankers, a command vehicle and a crew transporter. According to the Lausitz state control center, more than a hundred emergency services are on site.
The fire brigade could not expect more relief than rain: On Friday evening and Saturday there could be occasional rain in the region during the day, said Peter Zeidler from the German Weather Service in Leipzig on request. However, they will probably not bring any appreciable amounts of rain.
Just last weekend, two forest fires in Trauenbrietzen and Beilitz south of Berlin posed a major threat. Hundreds of firefighters supported by Bundeswehr troops were deployed. Once burned about 200 hectares. Firefighters continue to monitor developments there./hum/DP/mis