The major fire on the Brocken is to be fought today with increased forces from the air. According to a spokesman for the Harz district, more helicopters and two firefighting planes from Italy will drop water on the source of the fire from daybreak.
A no-fly zone for civil air traffic had previously been set up on the Brocken within a radius of 40 kilometers. This is difficult-to-access terrain in the Harz National Park, on which there are many dead spruce trees. Five firefighting helicopters helped fight the flames on Sunday.
Around 150 hectares are on fire
The fire was discovered on Saturday around 2:30 p.m. on the so-called Goetheweg near the Goethebahnhof vantage point. The cause of the fire is still unclear. The Goetheweg to the Brocken is one of the most frequented hiking trails in the Harz National Park.
District Administrator Thomas Balcerowski (CDU) declared a disaster on Sunday morning. The Harz district assumes that the extinguishing work will take several days.
Also Bundeswehr in action
Among other things, there is support from the Bundeswehr, the Federal Police, the state police of Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW). Several hundred emergency services help. The Ministry of the Interior in Magdeburg thanked everyone who is working tirelessly to contain the forest fire.
The Brocken plateau, which includes a hotel and a train station, was evacuated on Saturday. It will remain closed to visitors until further notice, as will the hiking trails in the area. The Harz narrow-gauge railways, which run their trains on the Brocken, have stopped operating there.