A large-scale fire in Czech Switzerland may lead to changes in the law on fire protection from the point of view of preventing such events, especially in the no-interference zones of national parks. A change in the concept of aerial forest fire fighting will also be needed. The general director of the fire department, Vladimír Vlček, told the journalists about the intervention in Czech Switzerland by a deputy from the security committee.
“Legislative steps consist in the fact that in some provisions we will probably have to adjust the performance of state fire supervision and the duties of managers of national parks, especially in the area where there are no-interference zones, in order to ensure the arrival of fire equipment, to solve fire partitions and to ensure enough fire water,” said Vlček.
In front of the deputies, Vlček drew attention, for example, to the fact that the firefighters had to cut through many original, but overgrown roads in Czech Switzerland in order to get to the fire. “They have been declared something that is not sustained,” he noted. In addition, there is no documentation for fighting fires for the České Švýcarsko National Park. Since it is an area with difficult conditions for intervention, according to Vlček, the documentation should have been processed.
The committee, on the proposal of Karel Krejza (ODS), called on the government to change the management strategy in national parks, especially in Bohemian Switzerland, with regard to the safety of people and property there. According to Krejza, people who want to turn the original commercial forest into a primeval forest would need an “expert examination”. “Every farmer will confirm that barkwood must be removed from the forest,” pointed out Radek Koten (SPD). The former director of the fire brigade and current ANO MP Drahoslav Ryba (ANO) said that the National Park of České Švýcarsko, unlike the Šumava National Park, did not do much for fire protection.
According to the proposal of Jiří Mašek (ANO), the Security Committee also called on the government to start negotiations on the further provision of aerial firefighting equipment. According to Vlček, the Czechia, as a small country, can hardly think of an independent air force. “It’s uneconomic, it’s impossible,” he told committee members. According to him, private operators do not have the kind of equipment that would be able to carry at least three cubic meters of water. The change in concept should concern the air service of the police, so that it also has heavy helicopters.
A large-scale fire broke out in Czech Switzerland on July 24 and was extinguished in 20 days. An area of 1,060 hectares was affected. Over 6,300 professional and volunteer firefighters and 92 members of the air police intervened, using over 400 pieces of equipment. Police are investigating the fire as a suspected threat to the public.