Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: Two forest fires on 135 hectares

Two large forest fires are raging in southwest Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: near Lübtheen and Hagenow, at least 135 hectares of forest are on fire. A fire in Crivitz was quickly extinguished.

A village had to be evacuated in the evening: In Volzrade, around 160 people had to leave their homes and apartments and spend the night with friends, relatives or the gym in Lübtheen. In the morning, a helicopter is supposed to take off in order to precisely record the area currently on fire.

Support from the Bundeswehr and the police

According to the District Administrator of Ludwigslust-Parchim, Stefan Sternberg (SPD), the Bundeswehr will support the extinguishing work in Hagenow with a clearing tank today. Firefighting helicopters are also to be used from the early morning. Federal and state police are also on duty at both Hagenow and Lübtheen. A total of around 700 emergency services are expected today.

Emergency services are trying to contain it

Hundreds of firefighters have been fighting this and another fire since yesterday afternoon – the other just a few kilometers away near Hagenow in the Vietzer Heide. During the night, too, the firefighters watered the ground around the fires to prevent the flames from spreading further. Both affected areas are contaminated with ammunition, and detonations can be heard again and again.

Infrastructure improved since last fire

After the devastating forest fire in 2019 in the Lübtheen region, aisles were cut in the forest there: the 50-metre-wide strip of sand without plants is intended to prevent the fire from spreading. As an NDR reporter reported in the morning, so far it looks like the aisles are working and containing the fire. The aisles are also important so that the emergency services can get closer to the source of the fire in order to set up the newly purchased circular sprinklers. There is also a new water supply right at the edge of the forest, where several wells have been drilled.

Deadwood provides fuel for flames

District Administrator Sternberg declared a disaster for Lübtheen in the evening. The situation is different than four years ago, when there was a fire in the same place for weeks: “It’s much, much hotter in the area. We have significantly more detonations because of course there is more dead wood in the area, which makes us everyone was aware that if that happened, it would become an absolute problem.”

Fire forestalled munitions clearance

Compared to the devastating fire in 2019, the fire near Lübtheen is heating up even deeper soil layers this time, according to operations manager Stefan Geier from the Ludwigslust-Parchim district fire brigade association. That’s why ammunition explodes that wasn’t triggered back then. According to Geier, an ammunition recovery operation should have started in the affected areas next week – but the fire preempted the evacuation.

Fire in Crivitz extinguished after three hours

A fire also broke out in Crivitz around 6 p.m. near the Waldschlösschen. According to the fire department, there was a fire in around one hectare of forest. The six fire brigades deployed were able to fight the fire quickly. The operation ended around 9 p.m.

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