Largest wildfire ever in Austria being battled by hundreds of personnel

Posted on Categories WildfireTags ,

4:40 p.m EDT Oct. 31, 2021

 map wildfire in the Hirschwant region in Austria
The icons represent heat detected by satellites from a wildfire in the Hirschwant region in Austria between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 2021 local time. The icons represent the approximate locations.

A wildfire in Lower Austria has grown to become the largest in recorded history of the country. It started on Monday October 25 and quickly grew to 100 hectares (247 acres) but has not spread much since then.

“The emergency services can still limit the fire area to 115 hectares (284 acres),” said Franz Resperger from the Lower Austria fire brigade on October 29. A total of 500 helpers were called in.

The fire is about 62 kilometers (38 miles) southwest of Vienna.

wildfire in the region of Hirschwang in Austria
Still image of the wildfire in the region of Hirschwang in Austria, October 30, 2021, from the video below.

On October 29 the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Center mobilized to the fire two Canadair CL-415 air tankers based in Italy, part of the EU’s rescEU transition fleet. Helicopters also responded from Germany, Italy, and Slovakia.

The CL-415s are scooping water from the New Danube River.

According to the state fire brigade commander Dietmar Fahrafellner, around 750,000 liters (198,000 gallons) of water were dropped on Saturday.

It has been extremely dry in the country, especially in Lower Austria. The last time it was this dry was 35 years ago, in September and October of 1986.