Forest fires often pose a particular challenge to affected regions, especially in southern Europe. While regularly affected countries have firefighters well trained and experienced in Vegetationsbrandbekämpfung, increasingly frequent, particularly dry and hot months are resulting in pronounced fire years that are increasingly overwhelming local response organizations and resources. Supraregional help is then needed.
Supraregional assistance is needed for large wildfires to relieve local forces
However, mutual assistance from regularly affected countries within Europe is usually mutually exclusive, since critical conditions often prevail simultaneously throughout Europe and thus one’s own forces are needed in one’s own area of operation.
Since the year 2002, @fire has been engaged in fighting Vegetationsbrandbekämpfung at home and abroad.
This dilemma was the founding idea of @fire: train responders in less affected areas to serve as mobile, inter-regional response units for Vegetationsbrandbekämpfung without weakening basic protection in their area of origin.
Based on international training and experience, @fire has special forces specialized in Vegetationsbrandbekämpfung especially with hand tools.
The specifics of vegetation, terrain, weather, and the remoteness of fire scenes often complicate extinguishing efforts using vehicle-based firefighting tactics - this is where @fire assists. Using tactics specifically designed for Vegetationsbrandbekämpfung, @fire’s trained responders can effectively fight fires without the need for large amounts of water, which is often unavailable or costly to obtain.
For this purpose, for example, wound strips are created and/or various types of pre- and counter-fire are used to deprive the actual fire of nourishment.
The advantage of these task forces is their rapid operational readiness, problem-free (international) transport, high mobility and the possibility of deployment in difficult terrain, even away from paved roads and existing infrastructure. This form of operation has proven very successful, and not only in regions that are difficult to access. In combination with water drops (airplanes or helicopters) and firefighting vehicles, a hand crew can unleash its full power.
In particular, @fire’s units specialize in:
Protection of houses and buildings, within the framework of the so-called “wildland-urban interface”, the transition between nature and urban areas.
Rapid initial attack on an incipient fire, if necessary by helicopter, to contain and ideally extinguish the fire in its incipient phase.
Selective and thus resource-saving post-extinguishing work in which embers are localized and extinguished individually.
Burning out the areas between the firebreak and the actual damaging fire to increase the protective strip and prevent fire jumping.
All the necessary operational materials such as hand tools, motorized chain saws, small pumps with hoses and fittings, communications and operational logistics are packed in transport crates, stored in trailers and vehicles distributed throughout Germany or permanently ready for use in the central operational warehouses.
Aircraft, properly used, can be an effective and efficient means of supporting Vegetationsbrandbekämpfung. Although ground forces are always needed to ultimately fight a fire, helicopters can provide critical support to this firefighting effort.
Helicopters can support a firefighting operation - but a fire is extinguished on the ground.
Since flight hours are relatively cost-intensive and flight operations have a high potential for danger, @fire and its partners have launched the“Team Phoenix” initiative to make coordinated air-ground operations in Germany more effective and safer and to develop uniform training and operational standards.
For conservation purposes and vegetation fire prevention, @fire assists forestry agencies and conservation authorities with controlled burning of specified areas. This serves in particular the ecological renaturation and biodiversity promotion of certain vegetation species.
Furthermore, controlled burning of vegetation can reduce the fire load (including dead wood, blowdown) even in areas that are difficult to access and prevent damaging fires and their devastating destruction. Taking into account the Federal Nature Conservation Act as well as the respective state forest laws and, if necessary, other requirements, we strategically burn the defined areas using biodegradable liquid fuels.
Extensive planning is necessary so that primarily the animal world is not irreparably damaged. The burned areas are then further monitored and surveyed by our burning specialists over their development for months to years.