Forest fire on TÜPL: “Defense line holds”

In the morning, the fire still stretched over a strip of about three kilometers in length, meanwhile there are only “punctual sources of fire,” said the commander of the Allentsteig military training area, Herbert Gaugusch, to noe.ORF.at.

However, Gaugusch does not want to give the all-clear just yet. The situation changes hourly, and new sources of fire would flare up again and again. According to the commander, the “catching line” – a fire protection strip that the army has also watered to stop the fire – is holding. He was confident that the fire would be brought under control soon.

NBC defense supports firefighting

It is not possible to use normal fire-fighting vehicles in the affected wooded area because there are duds in the area. The army is deployed with a splinter-protected tank fire engine. In addition, the NBC defense from Korneuburg was requested for support, which specializes in such operations in ammunition-contaminated areas.

Residential areas are still not at risk. According to the army, the fire is only on the military training area.

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The forest fire broke out on Saturday morning during a shooting exercise by the army at the military training area. “These shooting exercises take place under strict security conditions. Despite these requirements, the fire broke out,” said Gaugusch.

The fire spread so quickly because, due to the danger from duds, you cannot extinguish it with conventional vehicles, but had to keep a suitable distance from the fire. “A splinter-protected vehicle was used, but that was no longer able to prevent the spread to the forest,” said the commander.

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“Fires are standard on TÜPL”

The fact that fires break out during target practice at the military training area is nothing unusual, says Gaugusch. “Fire is actually part of the norm. Therefore, it is always necessary to make accurate assessments of where these target practice sessions take place.”

Gaugusch referred to numerous measures that the army had taken in the past: from fire training during training to the purchase of the splinter-protected fire engine and the production of fire protection strips on the military training area. “There is a network of fire protection strips that must be secured in the event of a fire, as is being done right now.”

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