German forest fires to destroy the equivalent of 1,771 football fields in 2023


In 2023, forest fires in Germany affected an area the size of approximately 1,771 football fields.

A total of 1,059 fires were recorded in the year, destroying around 1,240 hectares of forest, according to the Federal Information Centre for Agriculture (BZL) in Bonn. In 2022, the figures were more than double, with 2,397 fires and 3,058 hectares.

While the number of fires last year was just below the long-term average of 1,157, the forest area burned was about 44% larger than the average of 859 hectares.

Most forest fires (85%) occurred in the months of May to July. More than half of the damage was caused in May.

The BZL says that the exact cause of a fire often remains unknown. About 77% of the forest area burned down for unexplained reasons, while negligence was held responsible for 14%.

More than half of the fires caused by negligence were caused by the general public, including campers, visitors and children.

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