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High-capacity logistics at the moorland wildfire in Meppen

About 530 THW operatives are currently in action helping to combat a wildfire on the site of the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Weapons and Ammunition (WTD 91) in Meppen. Many of them have been there for a week already. The main tasks for the THW volunteers include securing the water supply for the firefighters, as well as supplying and catering for various organisations’ operative units in a large field camp.

The THW is preparing for the possibility that smoke from the moorland blaze might force an evacuation of the existing field camp in the BR 500 assembly area located to the east of the wildfire. Fact-finding missions are searching for another suitable site for the camp, to ensure that the operational readiness of all the forces involved is maintained in any scenario.

Currently the THW Logistic Support units are catering for some 1,300 operatives, which involves preparing more than 4,000 meals each day. The BR 500 assembly area is a speciality of the THW, with two of these systems in Germany. Each BR 500 system is designed to accommodate 500 operatives for a long period, including facilities for catering and maintenance of mission equipment. The capacity of a BR 500 system can be expanded to cope with up to 1,500 people. The system foresees up to 250 THW volunteers working in a coordinated manner to secure the logistics, power supply and accommodation of the camp. In addition, special units provide lighting for the operational area and the camp itself during the night.

At the site of the wildfire, THW Water Damage / Pumping technical units with 15 heavy-duty pumps have been in action since September 13, supplying the firefighting efforts with 15,000 litres of water per minute – or 250 litres per second. This water is taken from rivers and pumped into three water supply channels which are up to seven kilometres long. Along these channels, further pumps are in place to ensure that the water pressure remains high. 


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