The Bavarian Forestry Minister Started a Forest Fire in His Own Backyard

The same man employed to stop forest fires accidentally started one this week.


Helmut Brunner, the same man whose job it is to protect forests in the German state of Bavaria, accidentally started a forest fire this past week when he dumped a pile of ashes into a wooded area behind his house.

The forestry minister seems to have missed there were hot embers mixed in with those ashes, which quickly sparked a flame and ignited a fire.

Both Brunner and a passing motorist who noticed the smoke called emergency services. According to the Telegraph, it took 22 firemen and 4,000 liters of water to put out the fire.

“I totally underestimated it, it’s really embarrassing,” Brunner told Bavarian Radio. “You can’t be careful enough.”

To make matters worse, Brunner, who recently campaigned for locals to be more vigilant about forest fires, reportedly burned yard waste for his bonfire on a public holiday — a violation of German law.

The fire didn’t cause any injuries and was put out before it spread too far. But the 61-year-old politician sounds like he learned his lesson.

“Such a thing will never happen to me again,” he said.

Photo Credit: DPA

A decade of Global Thinkers

A decade of Global Thinkers

The past year's 100 most influential thinkers and doers Read Now

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola