Peatland fires in the recent years in Hungary


Peatland fire in Szürkedencs (18 September 2004)

A groundfire burned on 18 September at the Nr.7 Highway nearly to the village Szürkedencs. The smoke obstructed the trafic on the highway and on the M7 motorway.

Peatland fire in Balatonfenyves (29 August 2003)

The largest peatland fire in the last decade began with a reed surface fire. On 29 August 2003 the fire burned above the peatland area a 70 hectare surface fire in reed vegetation. In the next days 2 other reed fires also burned in the area. On 4 September 2003 came into sight, that the surface fires ignited the ground fuel and started a ground fire.

Source: Somogy County Disaster Recovery Service,

The ground fuel in this time was completely in dry phase, the precipitation in the region in the summer month was 120 mm, the average daily temperature was more than 23 Celsius. These weather-parameters caused also a drop in the water table, what in addition decreased the ground fuel moisture in the area. 

avarage precipitation in the spring month in 2003 avarage precipitation in thesummer month 2003 Source: Hungarian Weather Service

The control of the fire was only possible with the flooding of the fire area. In the first step the fire spread was stopped by the help of ditch cutting. When the fire was under control, the largest problem was to bring enough water to the fire for the flooding. The natural water sources in the region were dried out in the hot summer.

The fire-services together with the specialist of the regional water service developed a plan to organized the water transport to the fire. By the help of 11 km new ditch and the clearing of 4 km watercourse, and building provisory dams half a million cubic meter water was passed to the fire from the lake Balaton, fishpond Buzsak and from the West-Hungarian channel.

Source: Somogy County Disaster Recovery Service

The 200ha ground fire burned for 1 month and caused sometimes smokemanagemet problems in the nearby village. To control the air quality a environment measure engine was located  in the village. Fortunately the evacuation of the population was not necessary.

Source: Somogy County Disaster Recovery Service

The fire fighting action was a example for the need of a well organized inter-agency working. At the fire more than 21 different agencies were involved. 


Peatland fire in Zalavar-Sarmellek (9 July 2003)

under construction


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