Does dead wood turn the forest into a fire?




Dead trees don't look pretty, but they are important for biodiversity.
Image: IMAGO

Dead trees and dry branches are piling up in the forests. That's the way it should be, say conservationists. That has to go, demand politicians and fire experts. Who is right?

GQuite simply: "The dead wood has to be removed from the forest." In view of the fire on the Brocken, Guido Heuer, Saxony-Anhalt's CDU faction leader, came up with this simple formula last week. The Forest Minister there, Sven Schulze, and the Lord Mayor of Brockenort Schierke also agreed. The dry skeletons of the spruce trees, which have fallen victim to drought, bark beetles and storms, are considered fire accelerators. In climate change, they seem to pose too serious a risk - for the forest, for the region.

A dispute has broken out in Germany about deadwood, i.e. fallen branches, fallen trees and root balls sticking out of the ground, which does not stop at a national park like the Harz Mountains - even though the motto "hands off" applies here: Man may only intervene in exceptional cases.



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