Increasing number of forest fires expected

According to forest fire expert Dr. Ulrich Cimolino, global climate change will increasingly lead to conditions in Central Europe similar to those in more southern countries in the coming years. Rising temperatures and temperature differences are also the cause of stronger winds and thus the reason for the spread of vegetation fires, he said.

Experts report

Meeting with delegations from France and Italy at INTERSCHUTZ, Cimolino described the exchange among experts about experiences in fighting forest fires as a valuable contribution. The United States is also regularly affected by severe forest fires. At a "USA" Partner Country Day , senior representatives of fire departments there reported on their challenges.

"We can definitely learn a lot from each other," Cimolino said. For Germany, he said, the main thing is to better adapt to the changed circumstances. "We have to understand, for example, that fighting vegetation fires outdoors in the summer is something different than an ordinary firefighting operation in everyday life, which is usually over after 30 minutes or a few hours." A vegetation fire is over after four days or even four weeks, he said. The most important "first aid" measures, he said, are proper training, tactics and equipment.

Exchange between countries

In the U.S., too, the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly tangible. Her delegation came to Hannover, Germany, to learn about tactics, technology, innovation and how operations are handled in this country, said Lori Moore-Merrell, administrator in charge of fire departments at the U.S. National Disaster Relief Coordination Center, during her visit to INTERSCHUTZ. "We have a large number of these types of fires in the U.S., but we also have increased storm activity and bad storms," she said. "Usually, forests burned mainly in California. Now states like Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Florida are increasingly affected," Moore-Merrell reported. She was enthusiastic about the vehicles on display, as well as vegetation firefighting equipment. "They are very sophisticated and innovative," she said. She definitely sees potential for the U.S.

Delegations from more than 15 countries, including well-traveled experts from Australia, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Korea, used INTERSCHUTZ to get an overview of the industry's advancements and expand their networks. Natural disasters know no borders. That is why cooperation is so important right now, according to the unanimous opinion of the experts.