Wildfires A Bit More Expensive Than Thought
The wildfires of Meppen in 2018 will have a pretty expensive aftermath according to the NDR, which revealed the following details a short while ago. Early September the German Bundeswehr had fired rockets into the testing areal, causing one of the province of Niedersachsen’s largest wildfires on record. Within the area of Emsland, invoices have now hailed in to the tune of 760.000 Euros, (860.000 USD) for support with the firefighting services and lost wages for volunteer firefighters. That’s less than the visible tip of the iceberg, though.
On September 3rd, 2018 a rocket fired into the area started the fire which quickly grew in size. Smoke produced by the fire was at times visible as far as 70 miles away and up to 2.000 responders were dispatched to battle the blaze. Extinguishing the fire proved more difficult than expected. For days on end it remained unclear if two close proximity townships would have to be evacuated and the government issued the State of Emergency over the province. More than 5 weeks passed until the German Bundeswehr declared the fires extinguished in October 10th and the blessings were supported by steady rainfalls.
Bundeswehr Is On The Hook For The Cost
Local governments will be footing the bills initially, prior to handing the final bill to the German Military. The German government has already agreed to pay for all of it in an act of administrative assistance, which is common with large scale catastrophes. The defense ministry is keeping a veil of guess work over the total cost which the taxpayer will be shouldering, though.
Estimates that such expenses could reach into the 100 Million Euro range have been considered unrealistically high, however a true and believable number won’t be shared, either. Since taxpayer money is the easiest to spend in Germany and many parts of Europe, the government wears large shoes on spending, rather than preventing such incidents.
Lets Fire More Rockets Into The Weeds!
After months of dryness and the hottest summer on record in decades, firing rockets into mother nature made perfect sense to our military leaders. Of course the German Bundeswehr has already committed resources to repeat the exercises in 2019. The German Ministry of Defense remains steadfast in its using the areal for continued rocket and ammunition testing in 2019, despite heavy protests from local communities.
Aerial Firefighters Efforts Have Stalled For Now
Its difficult to argue for amphibious aerial firefighters when half the country is on fire and everyone is busy carrying water-buckets to the blaze. Its even more difficult to argue on behalf or amphibious aerial firefighters when the nation is prepping for a cold winter and particularly rewarding holiday season with temperatures barely reaching above freezing. We have not made meaningful headway in getting German authorities to pay attention to the resc_EU Study or the proposal of getting affordable aerial firefighting equipment into Germany. Lobbying is, like so many other things, never free.