This 13 September 2018 from Germany says about itself (translated):
The German Armed Forces [Bundeswehr] are unable to control the moor fire on their test site in Meppen and have now asked for assistance from the German Technical Relief Agency (THW). …
According to the Bundeswehr, this affects about six hectares of land. …
The moor fire had been triggered in a shooting war game with air-to-ground missiles. “Especially with an extreme drought like this summer, something like that can happen”, said a spokesman.
The Emsland Conservation League criticizes that the Bundeswehr has tested ammunition in such dry soil conditions. Small animals such as lizards, snakes and insects were bound to be killed by the resulting conflagration. In addition, the atmospheric aerosol particles pollution caused by the fire should not be underestimated.
The Bundeswehr admitted errors this week. Like, this time no aerial firefighting helicopter had been present. We underestimated the danger, said a spokesman. In addition, a special vehicle broke down. To make matters worse, a moorland fire is a special situation for the emergency services. Because the fire can eat deep into the lower layers of the bog. It was “a smoldering, a cooking of the vegetation”, a Bundeswehr spokesman formulated. …
The effects of the fire have been felt in recent days due to strong south-westerly winds, even at a greater distance. After initially people in Oldenburg had complained of smoke smell, the smoke has been smelled in the meantime also in Bremen and in 230 kilometers away Hamburg. On Tuesday afternoon, citizens in both Hanseatic cities had reported smoke smell to the control centers, the fire brigades reported.
Today, 18 September, it is five days later. No more ‘six hectares’ now: five hundred hectares, five square kilometers. Dutch NOS TV reports today (translated):
German peat fire caused by missile test difficult to fight
In a nature reserve near the German town Meppen, just across the Dutch border at Emmen, firefighters have been working for almost two weeks to extinguish a wildfire that has arisen during a missile test.
During the war game, soldiers fired missiles from a helicopter. The caterpillar vehicle that had to extinguish the resulting fire after the exercise broke down, while the replacement vehicle was in the workshop for repair. This allowed the smoldering fire to spread. …
From regional politics there is criticism of the military exercise in the area. “While civilians are told not to throw cigarette butts away during a dry period, the military is having weapons tests that cause wildfires“, said Christian Meyer, former minister of agriculture and current Vice President of the Green party in Lower Saxony.
The German government’s latest defence report has sparked hysterical calls for increased military spending in the country’s political circles and the media. The report, presented on Tuesday, paints the picture of a still ailing and broken army: here.
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