Another forest fire in Brandenburg: embers near Beelitz

A fire engine of the fire brigade drives to an operation

A fire engine of the fire brigade drives to an operation. Photo: Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Symbolbild

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The situation remains tense: In two districts in Brandenburg, the highest level of forest fire danger applies, in the others it doesn’t look much better. Immediately there are new firefighting operations.

In Brandenburg there was another forest fire. Affected this time was Rheinsberg in the Ostprignitz-Ruppin district, where the highest forest fire risk level 5 applies in addition to the Prignitz district. The fire in the Schwanow district caused heavy smoke on Thursday. According to the first information from the fire brigade, around five hectares of forest were on fire. The police spoke of two to three hectares. A police helicopter with a thermal imaging camera flew over the area, said a spokesman at the situation center in Potsdam.

The regional control center of the fire brigade issued a danger report. She called local residents in Rheinsberg and in Neuruppin to the south to keep windows and doors closed and to switch off ventilation and air conditioning systems. Fire brigades throughout the district are on duty, a spokesman said.

In addition to firefighters, there are also police officers and employees of the regulatory office on site, it said police. Some residents have had to evacuate their homes as a precaution. These are buildings that are in the immediate vicinity of the fire. The police initially did not assume that the flames could spread to the houses.

Rheinsberg with almost 8000 inhabitants is located in the Rheinsberg Lake District in northern Brandenburg and is a popular holiday area.

Last weekend there were two forest fires in Treuenbrietzen and Beelitz (Potsdam-Mittelmark district) south of Berlin for 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 on site.

In Beelitz in particular, there is still no talk of 100 percent relaxation, said district spokesman Kai-Uwe Schwinzert on request. Two tank fire engines are still in use on site. Dangerous could be hidden here in the forest floor embers will. “When it’s windy, they can easily flare up and start a fire,” said Schwinzert.

Later, the fire brigade was actually deployed again on the railway line between Beelitz-Heilstätten and Michendorf. As Deutsche Bahn announced via Twitter, the route for the RE7 was temporarily closed. A police spokesman said that individual embers had flared up again. The situation is under control, the spokesman said in the evening.

“Train traffic will be resumed and replacement bus services will be discontinued,” said the railway. However, there could still be cancellations and delays.

The state currently has the highest forest fire hazard level 5 in the Prignitz and Ostprignitz-Ruppin districts. According to this, there is a high risk in the districts of Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Spree-Neiße, Havelland, Oberhavel and Uckermark, and there is a medium risk in the rest of the country.