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Smoke on the Brocken


Cevin Dettlaff / dpa

A fire broke out on the Königsberg in Schierke in the Harz Mountains – about a hundred people had to be brought from the highest mountain in northern Germany, the Brocken. According to a spokeswoman for the city of Wernigerode, holidaymakers who were in the vicinity of the fire and were walking there were brought to safety.

"People were evacuated by buses so that they could get down from the mountain safely. Rail traffic is suspended because the rails can also pose a danger," the city spokeswoman told the dpa news agency. In coordination with the national park administration, several hiking trails were closed.

Below the side crest of the Brocken, it started to burn at an old fire site in the afternoon. Due to changing winds, the flames had spread quickly, so that on Sunday evening about two hectares burned. In addition to about 120 firefighters from surrounding towns, two firefighting aircraft and a firefighting helicopter were also deployed.

Around 21 p.m., the city said the fire was under control. In the meantime, about 35,000 liters of extinguishing water have been dropped from the air. At the same time, it said: "The development during the night remains to be seen." The operation will continue until dark 22 p.m. – and is then scheduled to continue at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. There is a fire watch overnight.