With 3000 liters of water in the tank against the flames

It’s hard, very hard. Forests have already burned in greece, sweden and also in germany because of it . These fires alarm the fire departments, especially because climate change is likely to make such catastrophes even more frequent in the future. According to rudolf romer, deputy managing director of the german firefighters association, many fire departments are thinking about acquiring more vehicles with special forest firefighting technology. The volkach fire department (district of kitzingen) has had such a special vehicle since 2014. Whereby: this is not quite correct. "The TLF 3000 is a tanker that is not only used for forest fires," explains moritz hornung, press spokesman for the fire department. "But it was also specially designed for forest fires."

Here is a video of the forest fire fighting vehicle in action:

Loschdusen and 3000 liters of water in the tank

The mercedes unimog is equipped with special loschdusen and a so-called pump and roll mode. This means that while driving from the vehicle can fight a fire. And that with a water supply of 3000 liters. The loose beam at the front, from which a water mist sprays, is also special. This way, firefighters and vehicles can take the jolt when, for example, the wind shifts and the fire comes toward them.

"We haven’t just had forest fires on our radar since sweden or greece," says hornung. "We have long had the goal of fighting coarser forest fires with new techniques and strategies. With this vehicle we have succeeded."However, all 68 volkach firefighters have to be trained and trained regularly.

Hose on the roof

Machine operator jurgen hofstatter safely moves the heavy vehicle over narrow, sloping field paths near volkach. With its all-wheel drive and high wheelbase, it masters even difficult terrain. "We can go up to 30 degrees slope," explains the firefighter. An inclination instrument shows how far the driver can drive in an inclined position without tipping over. Robin tschischka and patrick ritz, the other crew members, operate the losch system.

They open a roof hatch and stand on the passenger seat. While the unimog jerks along the edge of the forest, both spray into the forest with a hose installed on the roof. Training of drivers is carried out in close cooperation with the federal armed forces. "We were allowed to recreate various driving situations on the troop training grounds in hammelburg and wildflecken," hornung explains. "Through difficult exercises, the driver learns both to concentrate on the mission and to operate the vehicle at the same time."

Hoses like nets in the forest

Tschischka and ritz have since left to practice a second mobile loscht tactic. They pick up two hoses from the unimog, run ten meters in front of it and spray into the forest. The driver follows at walking speed. If the fire got out of control, the two could immediately mount, the driver could activate the loschbalken and start the jerk train. Also a so-called static attack is possible for the tank truck. "In the process, the unimog stands and we lay hose lines like a net in the forest," is how hornung describes this loaching tactic.

But at some point the 3000 liters of water in the tank are gone. "But even that is not a problem," says the press spokesman. " in the meantime, other tankers were parked in a staging area to bring the water to the unimog. This will happen in a few minutes. Purely a matter of practice." the unimog has not yet had to save itself in a forest fire. According to hornung, it was only used for fires in stubble fields or bushes. "And hopefully it will stay that way."

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