Fire prevention at the forest of Brandenburg
Rural Development Programme (RDP) support was used for helping to prevent forest fires in a former military testing area in Brandenburg, Germany, that is heavily contaminated with explosive material.
The widespread former military training areas (TÜP) near Jüterbog, Heidehof, Lieberose and Tangersdorf in Brandenburg, were used as testing grounds for the development and use of military equipment for over 160 years. The high density of ammunition remnants in the area are often the cause of fires and they can make firefighting challenging, sometimes impossible.
The area is managed by the Brandenburg Natural Landscapes Foundation (Stiftung Naturlandschaften Brandenburg) which is also responsible for the area’s forest fire protection. Firebreaks with isolated groves and vegetation-free strips have been created and are annually maintained. These firebreak systems help contain fires and allow emergency services to operate safely.
Forest fire protection systems have only been implemented on around 150 of the approximate 13 600 hectares of land managed by the Foundation on the four TÜP, or around 1%. This leaves the largest part of the foundation areas to develop naturally.
The construction of wells and paths has significantly increased the safety of the voluntary fire brigade and rescue forces operating on the former TÜP.
Four new firefighting wells, which were opened in 2017, were significant in helping the containment of a forest fire in 2018.