Mateusz Morawiecki called a meeting of services, in which he learned about the current situation. Ministers of the Environment, Interior and Administration, Climate, and National Defense participated in the meeting. ”At the moment, the situation seems to be under control,” said the spokesperson of the Government of Poland after the meeting.
Rescue services have given the highest priority to this area since the very beginning. Currently, 36 State Fire Service units, that is 120 State Fire Service firefighters and Voluntary Fire Brigade firefighters, are tackling the Biebrza National Park blaze. The Territorial Defence Force also supports the firefighters in tackling the blaze. The firefighting measures at the national park are coordinated by a mobile team. The team uses a specialist command and control vehicle provided by the Provincial Headquarters of the State Fire Service in Poznań, which is equipped with state-of-the-art observation systems and drones. In addition, four Dromader aircrafts provided by the State Forests are used for firefighting purposes.
Additional State Fire Service units, including Black Hawk and Bell police helicopters, were dispatched to combat the blaze as well. The firefighting measures will be supported by 166 firefighters belonging to the Central Operational Reserves of the Chief Commandant of the State Fire Service and to the “Warmia i Mazury” Firefighting Company.
“It appears that the blaze was caused by grass burning near the national park, so we would like to ask you to be even more responsible when spending time in forests in the next couple of days,” said the spokesperson of the Government of Poland. He added that ”we are currently experiencing drought so incidents similar to the one at the national park may also be caused in normal forests”.
The Biebrza National Park blaze broke out on Sunday, 19 April and has so far spread over 6,000 hectares of the forest, marshes, peat bogs, and reed fields. This is a particularly difficult area when it comes to firefighting as peat bogs can smoulder for many weeks. For several days, the firefighters were able to extinguish the raging fire but, unfortunately, the weather and hydrological conditions, that is strong winds and drought, caused the fire to start again in other national park areas. Fires at the Biebrza National Park start every year but this year’s fire is the largest in several years.
The Biebrza National Park is the biggest national park in Poland. With a total area of approx. 59,000 hectares, the Biebrza National Park protects wetlands, which are areas of great natural interest. It is home to numerous rare species, especially water and marsh birds and moose.