Every summer at harvest time, fire brigades are alerted with the alarm keyword “Burn­ing grain field / stub­ble field”, some partic­u­larly affected fire brigades in hot summers almost daily.

Some dismiss these kinds of oper­a­tions as triv­i­al­i­ties - but they are not. It is not the mate­r­ial value, which can amount to several thou­sand euros depend­ing on the size of the field and the type of grain, but the some­times massive danger to oneself that these fires can pose. Time and again, there have been minor and major acci­dents while fight­ing wild­fires - with burnt-out fire engines and injured or even killed comrades. Bear one thing in mind: In this type of oper­a­tion, you are only protect­ing mate­r­ial assets or, in the case of stub­ble fires, “only” the envi­ron­ment, i.e. it is irre­spon­si­ble to endan­ger the lives and health of your own comrades here. Safety is there­fore the top prior­ity for all grain field fires.

So what makes these fires so danger­ous? Vege­ta­tion fires are signif­i­cantly influ­enced by three factors: char­ac­ter­is­tics of the vege­ta­tion, weather and terrain.