High risk of forest fires in large parts of Hesse
This summer has really had it. And it continues to stay hot. What pleases some people is just torture for others. For our nature, it's more the latter. Due to the persistent heat and the lack of rain, the danger of forest fires in Hesse is increasing significantly again. Large parts of Hesse have been without abundant rainfall for a long time. And that, of course, has consequences. Therefore, according to current forecast data from the German Weather Service (DWD), there is a high risk of forest fires in large parts of Hesse over the next few days. According to initial estimates, the thundery precipitation predicted for the coming weekend will not lead to a sustained improvement in the situation.
The Hessian Environment Ministry therefore issued the first of two alert levels, Alert Level A, for the forestry administration in Hesse on 24 July. The prospect of a continuation of the weather situation without major state-wide precipitation with continued high temperatures, as well as an increase in forest fires, makes this step necessary.
The declaration of the second highest alert level ensures, among other things, that the forest areas particularly at risk are monitored more closely. The Forestry Commission is also ensuring technical readiness and intensifying contact with local fire protection services. In particularly fire-prone forest areas or forest edge areas, barbecue sites may be closed. The temporary closure of forest paths and forest areas is also not excluded.
After an overall too dry spring and clearly too dry June in Hesse with simultaneous record temperatures in April and May, the water reserves have also decreased strongly in the forest soils. Since the beginning of the year, there have been about 45 forest fires with a damaged area of about 4.5 hectares.
The Department is also asking all forest visitors to exercise increased caution and attention. No fires should be lit outside designated barbecue areas. Care should be taken at barbecue areas to avoid flying sparks and to properly extinguish fires when leaving the barbecue area.
Smoking is generally not permitted in the forest. There is also a risk of forest fires from bottles and broken glass left lying around, as well as from cigarette butts carelessly thrown out of windows along roads. All forest visitors are also asked not to block the access roads to the forests with vehicles. Cars should only be parked in designated parking areas. Vehicles should not be parked over dry ground vegetation.
Whoever notices a forest fire is asked to immediately inform the fire brigade (emergency call 112) or the nearest forestry service