Fire brigade call out to the Siebengebirge: Mountain bikers notice forest fire first

Fire brigade call out to the Siebengebirge : Mountain bikers notice forest fire first

The fire brigade was called to a forest fire in Ittenback on Monday night. Mountain bikers had noticed the blaze first - thanks to their quick response, anything worse could be avoided. A fire in Königswinter-Hüscheid had kept the firefighters busy just recently.

The fire broke out in Ittenbach near the Oelbergrundweg around 7.30pm on Monday evening. According to the fire brigade an area of about 60 square meters was ablaze. „Fortunate circumstances“ led to the fire brigade being able to extinguish the fire quickly. Mountain bikers had noticed the fire and immediately reported it, says Marc Neunkirchen, spokesperson of the voluntary fire brigade in Königswinter. „That meant we could be at the site of the fire very quickly.“ Due to several other emergency calls at the control center, the alert level was increased after a few minutes, callers reported high flames near the small Ölberg.

The first water tender reached the site quickly, the first extinguishing attempt was started immediately. Within minutes, the blaze was under control, says Neunkirchen. To be sure that the fire was completely out and no more glowing embers were hidden in the dry ground, the fire fighters used a so called „four-tooth tool“, a special device to pick up lose leaves and wood to extinguish possible glowing embers. After about an hour, the mission was successfully concluded.

The fire brigade Itzenbach and Oelberg were working together with their colleagues from Oberdollendorf, while the fire officers from Uthweiler and the old town of Königswinter were on standby, as a precaution. On Friday evening the fire brigade had been called to a fire in a forest near Könisgwinter-Hüscheid, where wood on a site of 50 square meters had been alight.

Due to the extremely dry period at the moment, the fire risk in the forests is extremely high. Open fire and the consumption of tobacco products in a forest has to be avoided as well as romantic bonfires. Children should be informed of the risks too, said Peter Kern, spokesperson of the regional fire brigade association.

Bottles or other items can also develop burning glass characteristics. Should a fire start burning despite all precautions, call 112 immediately.

(Original text: Katrin Janßen. Translation: Mareike Graepel)