Gigantic forest fire near Berlin – villages evacuated

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Forest fire in the south of Brandenburg Forest fire in the south of Brandenburg

Smoke clouds over Frohnsdorf. Photo: Christian Pörschmann

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

First there are 5 hectares in flames, in the evening 300: a forest fire in Brandenburg is spreading rapidly. Hundreds of people have to leave their homes.

Tmalesbrigzen (dpa / bb) – Because of a huge forest fire southwest of Berlin, more than 500 people have to leave their villages in Brandenburg. Three places in an area south of Potsdam were evacuated. On Thursday night already an area as large as 400 football fields burned. About 300 task forces were in action, as the vice district administrator of Potsdam-Mittelmark, Christian Stein (CDU), said.

A total of 540 people from Frohnsdorf, Klausdorf and Tiefenbrunnen were brought to safety. The victims were requested by announcements of loudspeakers to leave their homes. Much of it is with acquaintances under, in addition, the town hall of the nearby town of Treuenbrietzen is available for the night.

According to the initial findings, the fire broke out in several places and covered a total of about 300 hectares of forest, Stein said. "We are trying to stop the fire." According to the troops, the largest body that burns is one kilometer wide and three kilometers long. Moreover, more places were on fire, said a spokesperson for the Brandenburg West police station.

Brandenburg head of the Dietmar Woidke government (SPD) announced that it would visit the affected region on Friday. The prime minister wants to get a picture of the situation in the morning, said government spokesman Florian Engels the German press agency on the night of Friday. For this Woidke has made an appointment with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Uckermark.

The estimate of 300 hectares of fire is only 100 meters away from places, the police said. The people who had to leave their homes, therefore, only had to bring the most important things such as papers or medicines, was called by the security agency of the city of Treuenbrietzen.

Residents in the area were also asked to keep windows and doors closed for smoke. The smoke column can be seen ten kilometers, the spokesman said.

"We have never experienced anything like this during the war," said 76-year-old Anita Biedermann when she left her home in Frohnsdorf with a small bag. Medications, identity cards and a coat – that would be enough, the pensioner said. She is not afraid. "There are so many great men here", Biedermann said with a glance at the firefighters and the troops of the Technical Assistance organization. The night she now wants to spend in the town hall of Treuenbrietzen.

The fire had spread rapidly from an area of ​​five hectares in the afternoon. Because the soil is loaded with ammunition, the extinguishing work is extremely difficult. The fire brigade was with 600 forces on the site, also firefighting helicopters and water cannons were used.

During the evenings, the fire brigade in the city of Berlin also issued a warning about the consequences of the forest fire: in the southeast of the capital – initially in Treptow, Köpenick and Müggelheim – there was smoke in the air. "Similar ashes are possible."

Communication about evacuation

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