Wildfires in central Europe

Hot, dry weather over the last several weeks has led to numerous wildfires in central Europe, especially in Austria and southern Germany, Georg, one of our loyal readers in Germany tells us. Some of the fires are in steep terrain, he said. Thanks Georg!

He sent us some links to sites with photos and descriptions (in German) of recent wildfires. (Thankfully, the photos are in English 😉  )

  • Here’s one
  • At this fire there were about 250 firefighters and 50 soldiers.
  • About 680 firefighters were assigned to a third fire, along with 3 helicopters and 3 Single Engine Air Tankers.

The images below are screen grabs from the video you’ll see farther down.

fire Engine on road Firefighters along a fence

Firefighters refill a helicopter bucket
Firefighters use two hoses to refill the bucket of a hovering helicopter.
Firefighters refill a helicopter bucket
Firefighters use two hoses to refill the bucket of a hovering helicopter.

Google Translate took a stab at translating the description of the above video:

From the fire of pine forest between Wiener Neustadt and Weikersdorf was affected by the fire, said Alexander Nittner by the State Fire Command in Tulln: “The big challenge for the firefighters is that the wind constantly rotates, the approach is extremely difficult and already about 15 acres forest on fire. “by Thursday evening, the fire spread to an area of ​​20 hectares.


Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

2 thoughts on “Wildfires in central Europe”

  1. Interesting photos on the first two links. I see lots of firefighters using rappel type gear to safely anchor themselves. Reminded me of the Mile Post 66 Incident. Maybe we have something valuable to learn from the Germans in regards to this.

    1. You can also see a bunch of vegetation fire being worked in structural gear — don’t have to learn everything…

      Sometime late 80s-early 90s I picked up a red card qual of CLIR (climber) after a string of Sierra Nevada (maybe YNP?) fires were calling for specialty resources to assist/supervise/set up belays, anchors, raising and lowering systems on difficult Class 3/4 terrain like this. I got no task book or agency training, just rock climbing, vertical caving, and certified tree climbing instructor background made me willing to take it and Fire Staff willing to sign it — that’s the olden days… Never had an assignment in that role. In retrospect, it probably would have made me crazy with unreasonable risks being proposed…

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