By Peter Sommer
(Translated, edited by P. Gosselin)
It’s become an annual ritual. Every summer, when there has been little rain for a long time and unreasonable people set fire to forests, whether through intent or negligence, a solution comes into play: wind turbines.
Quaschning’s tweet in English:
There are people who obstruct wind turbines, supposedly in order to protect forests. But the opposite is true. Every obstructed wind turbine fires up the climate crisis with heat, drought and forest fires.”
(Image: Screenshot Twitter)
Old military grounds pose huge hazard to fire fighters
Of course, this is exactly what is happening with the current forest fire in Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg, alarmists like Quaschning say. But, if you look very closely you will see that once again a forest area burned that had previously served as a military training area for several decades. Such areas are not easy to extinguish because firefighters put themselves in serious danger as remnants of ammunition are lying around everywhere. So the fire has an easy time when it can only be extinguished from a distance. Or, to put it another way, in forests without remnants of ammunition, firefighters would have fires under control quickly.
Nothing to do with temperature
What would help the forest is precipitation. Temperature is not the determining factor for forest fires, but the absence of rain. The forest would also be helped if people stopped handling fire in the forest during times of drought.
Yet we will read and hear the call for more wind power in the forests every time there is a forest fire from the likes of Big Wind lobbyists Volker Quaschning – and of course, without them addressing the forest floor contaminated with munitions. This has always been the case in recent years and has also been a topic in this blog. By the way, with the same protagonist as this year and almost word-same tweets.
Long-term downward trend
It is worth looking at the number of forest fires and the area of damage. The statistics of the Federal Office of Agriculture and Food are always released quite late (2021 is not yet available), but this “it’s getting worse” experience does not ring true up to 2020.
Three periods stand out: 1992, 2003, and 2018/2019.
2020 already returned to a low level. In 2019, there was a fire in Lübtheen (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). Also there on a former military training area. Salvage tanks of the Bundeswehr had to move in and former employees of the site were located who still had ammunition maps. Only then could the fire be extinguished. There was also a fire in Jüterbog (Brandenburg) and, once again, on a military training area there as well. Both fires were very difficult to extinguish. Without the danger posed by the munitions, such fires could be controlled by local fire departments. However, this does not make a very good news story.
Number of forest fires and area burned in hectares. (Chart: Screenshot Umweltbundesamt.de)
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June 22, 2022 at 12:04PM