Forest fire in Schneeberg-Rax, Austria still not under control
The “largest forest fire that has ever occurred in Austria” is still far from under control.
As the Kleine Zeitung reported today, although the firefighters succeeded to prevent the flames from spreading any further, the situation in the Schneeberg – Rax area of Lower Austria remains critical and very dangerous.
The fire that rages in the mountainous area since Monday (25th of October) has so far engulfed an area of over 120 hectares of forest, what earned it a title of the largest forest fire that has ever occurred in Austria.
In comparison, according to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, in 2020 there were altogether 234 forest fires in Austria, with a total affected area of 61 Ha. Generally, there are between 100 – 300 fires a year, with forest fires mostly claiming an area of up to 1 Ha. Larger fires are rather rare.
Besides the challenges posed by the landscape of steep mountain slopes, which also hinder the access to strategical points, the work of firefighters is further hampered by changing winds. Relief is expected to come around the beginning of the next week when rain in the area is prognosed.
Although the investigations concerning the source are ongoing, presently human negligence from a single source is assumed.
The affected area is a nature reserve, settlements are presently not affected.
vrs-SSP is closely monitoring the situation.