Bundeswehr’s NH90 helicopters support firefighting operation

By Defence Industry Europe

The German Armed Forces have provided assistance in combating a forest fire near Jüterbog in Brandenburg, according to a press release. Since the end of May, a significant area of woodland has been engulfed in flames, prompting the local district to request aid. Responding to the call for assistance, the Bundeswehr deployed two NH90 helicopters that were previously utilized in extinguishing a moor fire in Göldenitz near Rostock. The fire in Jüterbog has now been contained.

The forest fire near Jüterbog has been raging since late May, consuming over 700 hectares of woodland at its peak. The persistent heat and increasing winds have hindered firefighting efforts, leading to the emergence of new fire fronts. Over the weekend, the district of Teltow-Fläming declared a state of emergency and requested assistance through official channels. In response, the Bundeswehr dispatched two NH90 helicopters, with the Bundespolizei also providing support through a military helicopter.



Sections of the affected area were heavily contaminated with munitions and explosives due to its past use as a former Soviet military training ground dating back to Prussian times. As a result, civilian fire engines were restricted to designated routes within the fire zone. Drones were employed to identify smoldering hotspots, as ground-based extinguishing efforts were impractical.

Over the course of several days, the Bundeswehr NH90 helicopters conducted 56 water drops, releasing approximately 102,000 liters of water over the forest fire area. By Sunday afternoon, the fire had been sufficiently contained, leading to the lifting of the state of emergency and the conclusion of the military helicopter operations.

Interestingly, on Friday, June 9, the same NH90 helicopters were involved in firefighting efforts at the Göldenitzer Moor near Rostock. Alongside another CH-53 helicopter, they conducted 87 water drops, deploying over 220,000 liters of water to extinguish remaining hotspots. Ground-based firefighting was also ineffective in this moor fire, which had persisted for several days.



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