OUR FORESTS ARE IN A BAD SHAPE.
How climate change affects wildfire
Climate change is causing heat and weather extremes to become more frequent on our planet. Our forests are also directly affected by this.
Photographed south of lake Möhne
Enormous damage to the forest stand due to storms, the bark beetle and heat stress
In general, climate change is not causing wildfires - rather, it is providing the opportunity for fire to spread much more vigorously, rapidly, and destructively.
Long-lasting high temperatures in summer cause drought and heat waves, which dry out the forest and brush, providing the ideal fuel for a fire. Storms and severe weather can cause a lot of dead wood to gather on the ground. Infestations of pests - by the bark beetle, for example - also cause our forests a lot of stress, and lead to an increase in the fire load.
vom 1. März bis 31. Oktober
PAY ATTENTION TO THAT!
in German forests
A general ban on smoking applies in the forests of Germany from the beginning of March to the end of October. In the past, many forest fires were caused by carelessly discarded cigarette stubs in the forest or from car windows.
For open fires a minimum distance of 100 meters to the forest applies. Campfires and barbecues are prohibited as well. The risk of the fire spreading is too big. As a matter of fact, we strongly recommend avoiding open fires on vegetation areas.
waste heat from vehicles
A major risk also comes from hot vehicle parts. The catalytic converter or exhaust can ignite fire if the car is parked in tall grass, for example. Vehicles should only be parked in designated areas in the forest. The hot disc brake of a bicycle can also have a similar effect!
Usually, inattention in combination with heat, wind and dry vegetation leads to forest fires. Please be careful - and protect our forests!
Be attentive when you visit the forest
Keep the forest access roads clear for the fire department
If possible, try to extinguish small emerging fires immediately, if this can be done safely
Report fires to the fire department, and leave the forest by the shortest route!
AN AREA OF 3.797 SOCCER FIELDS BURNED IN GERMANY IN 2019
ALSO HERE IN GERMANY?
Yes. In densely populated areas in particular, forest and wildfires can have devastating consequences for us too. At first glance, the situation does not seem so dramatic in an international comparison, but still:
Climate change and drought will cause fires to occur more frequently in Germany as well
In fact, these negligent arsons take place exactly like this - in our district of Soest!
The emergency services had to deal with difficult conditions. One firefighter collapsed under the workload. © Daniel Schröder
On 27.07.2018, a forest area of about 150 square meters burned near the city of Warstein. The fire was caused by pure recklessness: a campfire - even though warnings had been issued for weeks about the high risk of forest fires.
As Daniel Schröder - firefighter and journalist - reports, it was only by luck that a second fire did not occur.
"A campfire in the woods? During this drought? This is far from common sense!"
Firefighter & Journalist
He leaves the scene after his work is done and follows a driver who was asked by the police to turn around - the Sauerlandstraße was still closed due to the forest fire. Suddenly, in front of Daniel's eyes, the driver flicks a red-hot cigarette out of the car window into the forest: a few hundred meters away, where the Warstein fire department is still busy with post-fire operations. "Unbeatable in negligence, boundless stupidity and ignorance" he writes.
WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY.
On the morning of November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire broke out in Butte County, California.
Within a few hours it developed into both the deadliest and most destructive forest fire in California's history. The documentary impressively tells of the fates and events surrounding this catastrophe.