Fires broke out in quick succession on Monday at two former military training areas in the same district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Near Lübtheen, where in 2019 there was the largest forest fire in the state to date on almost 1000 hectares, more than ten hectares of forest on the site of a naval arsenal from the Second World War were on fire in the late afternoon.
Near Hagenow, about 30 kilometers further north, a forest also caught fire on a former military site. Around twelve hectares are currently affected, said a police spokesman in the evening. The operation is considered difficult because old ammunition is lying in the ground at both locations, which has already detonated. According to the information, the fire brigades can therefore not penetrate directly to the flames.
Bad memories of fire of 2019
In Lübtheen in the Ludwigslust-Parchim district, the fire near the Volzrade district brings back bad memories. Almost exactly four years ago - at the end of June/beginning of July 2019 - more than 3,000 firefighters fought the flames in a heat wave for days. Then as now, the place of the outbreak was the heavily ammunition-loaded area of the former naval arsenal, as Lübtheen's mayor Ute Lindenau (SPD) told the German Press Agency. At that time, spontaneous combustion of old ammunition was the cause. This could now be the case again.
After the 2019 fire, firebreaks were laid on the former military training area to better contain future fires and protect localities. There were no evacuations until the evening.
Second fire near Hagenow
Shortly after the fire broke out near Lübtheen, the police reported the second forest fire in the Sudenhof district of Hagenow near the federal road 321. This was completely closed due to the heavy smoke. A detached house with two residents had been evacuated as a precaution because of the heavy smoke. It hasn't rained in the region for weeks, and no change is in sight for the next few days.
A forest fire also broke out on the Altkönig in the Hochtaunus in Hesse on Monday afternoon. The Katwarn warning system said the fire brigade was already on site. The country road 3004 is completely blocked between Oberursel and Sandplacken, only the emergency services have access there. The population should avoid the area over a large area and keep the access routes to the operational area free, it said. Hikers and cyclists were asked to leave the area.
Hundreds of emergency services on site
According to the district, around 350 emergency services from the district and neighboring districts were on site in the afternoon to fight the flames, which had spread from the Altkönig in the direction of the popular Fuchstanz destination. Due to the topographical situation, the extinguishing work would be difficult. By the evening, two to three hectares had been affected by the fire. According to the current status, human lives are not in danger.
The situation in the forest fire area near Jüterbog south of Berlin was largely contained on Monday. "But there are still individual fire nests in the area, a total of one to two hectares," said the forest fire protection officer for the state of Brandenburg, Raimund Engel. In view of the dry weather, it is to be feared that further fires will flare up again. The fire broke out at the end of May on a former military training area.