Fires: Slightly fewer forest fires in the northeast

The number of forest fires in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is expected to be slightly lower this year than last year.

Fires: Slightly fewer forest fires in the northeast

The number of forest fires in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is expected to be slightly lower this year than last year. A spokeswoman for the Environment Ministry said 61 forest fires had been recorded by the end of October. There were 71 fires in the whole of 2022. For the rest of the year, the risk of further fires is likely to be low due to the weather: According to the State Forestry Office, the forest fire season in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania usually lasts from the beginning of March to the end of September.

The spokeswoman continued that forest fires occurred more frequently this year in the warmer and dryer than average months of April to June. Because of the heavy, widespread rain, the number of reported forest fires suddenly decreased from the end of July. "Since then, only very isolated forest fires have been recorded in the country." In the consistently dry summer of 2022, the frequency of forest fires would only have decreased in the fall.

The fires are predominantly caused by people. The current forest fire statistics list causes such as negligent and intentional arson, burning vehicles, but also the spontaneous combustion of old ammunition. In June, for example, hundreds of firefighters fought two large forest fires in areas contaminated with ammunition in Lübtheen and Hagenow (Ludwigslust-Parchim district). There was an even larger fire at the former Lübtheen military training area in 2019.

“Often the cause of the fire cannot be clearly determined,” the spokeswoman continued. Lightning strikes are the only known natural cause of forest fires in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. On a long-term average, however, these only accounted for around five percent of all fires.

Fire numbers have been recorded centrally by the forest fire center based in the Mirow Forestry Office (Mecklenburg Lake District) since 2014. The forestry and national park offices, the federal forestry companies and the city forestry office of the Hanseatic city of Rostock report every forest fire there.

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