The fire spread.

14,662

Forest fire in the Zittau Mountains: sealed off, “do not need fire tourism here”

A forest fire broke out in the Saxon spa town of Oybin (district of Görlitz) on Friday.

Oybin – Dense clouds of smoke near the Saxon spa town of Oybin, the flames hit meters high from the dry forest: a forest fire broke out in the well-known holiday resort in the Görlitz district on Friday morning.

The fire spread. © LausitzNews/Jens Kaczmarek

Only in the late afternoon did the more than 100 emergency services extinguish the source of the fire. Due to the steep terrain, the emergency services were initially unable to reach the source of the fire and therefore had to wait for a fire-fighting helicopter.

The fire was reported around 10 a.m. at a level crossing near the train station. “The wind then quickly carried the flames further and the dry softwood burns like tinder,” explained District Fire Chief Björn Mierisch.

It quickly became clear that this was a difficult and extremely dangerous mission.

Ukraine war in the live ticker: Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of shelling nuclear power plants
Ukraine
Ukraine war in the live ticker: Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of shelling nuclear power plants

The terrain is similarly impassable and rocky as in Bad Schandau in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, explained the district fire chief. Hundreds of emergency services have been on duty there for almost two weeks because of a major fire.

And so experienced mountaineers bring pumps and hoses into the forest fire area around Oybin to build up a water supply. For hours, the emergency services in Oybin can only try to keep the fire in check from the sides.

In the afternoon, the fire-fighting helicopter came from the Thuringia police. It can drop up to 400 liters of water. “It was at the very last moment. The wind picked up more and more and threatened to spread the flames further,” said Mierisch.

A firefighting helicopter was also in action.

A firefighting helicopter was also in action. © xcitepress/MR

Meanwhile, the health resort was cordoned off in the morning and all access roads were blocked by the police. Only residents and vacationers who already have accommodation came in.

“We don’t need fire tourism here,” emphasized Mierisch. According to him, there was no danger to the population because the wind drove the flames away from the site.

Two firefighters were injured in the operation. “One with circulatory problems due to the great heat and one with smoke poisoning,” said Mathias Krause, spokesman for the Görlitz district fire brigade association.

When a woman sees what her dog is up to, she immediately calls for help
dogs
When a woman sees what her dog is up to, she immediately calls for help

The water supply for the fire-fighting operation was also a problem in Oybin at the beginning. “We just don’t have the Elbe on our doorstep like in Bad Schandau,” said Mierisch. But the comrades from the neighboring Czech Republic had supported with fire engines.

The helicopter was supposed to water the fire area extensively into the evening to prevent the fire from flaring up. However, the emergency services should remain in the area and set up a fire station. The closures should initially be maintained for a smooth process.

First report 2:14 p.m., last updated at 10:38 p.m.

Leave a Reply