The Biebrza National Park is on fire. Priceless peat bogs, grasses and forests have been burning for several days now. Yesterday the situation seemed to be under control but the fire flared up again more fiercely. Firefighters are having to operate in very difficult conditions given the swampy terrain. State Foresters deployed Dromader aircraft to cull the fire. The government has provided additional funds to fight the fire. We spoke to Captain Krzysztof Batorski about the dramatic fight against fire on the Biebrza.
“Conditions are tough, firefighters have to walk on foot to the remote places that are on fire. Their job is to suppress the fire by using fire flappers. This is essentially a piece of steel on a stick and you use it to put out the fire. There is a grave danger from smoke and high temperature. We have a burning peat. On the surface it might look untouched but deep inside we might have fire. This creates another danger for anybody who steps on it. He or she might fall up to 2 -3 meters down into the fire. This is why we have firefighters working in teams to provide help to those in trouble.
We also have serious losses to nature. Animals die; firefighters saw the burned remains of young elks and deer. They also saw a bird which died because it wanted to protect its nest with its body. The situation of animals in the park is dramatic. We don’t know what the cause of the fire is. Most often forest fires or grass fires are the result of human activities and often they are intentional arson”, commented Captain Batorski.