The city of Wiesbaden has banned the use of barbecue grills in public barbecue areas throughout Wiesbaden and in wooded areas. The city announced this ban in a press release Aug. 7, which explained the effects of the extremely dry weather over the past several weeks. Recent rain has not been enough to make up for the lack of rain earlier in the year.
However, Florian Erbacher, public affairs officer and head of the technical department of the Wiesbaden Fire Department, explained that this ban only applies to public areas. “It does not apply to private properties with the exception of small garden allotments (Kleingärten) that are located less than 100 meters away from the woods.”
Having a barbecue on public property is normally allowed in specially designated areas of Wiesbaden. A list of these areas can be found on the Wiesbaden Fire Department’s website at https://www.wiesbaden.de/microsite/feuerwehr/praevention/content/waldbrandgefahr.php. However, the page currently includes information about the effects of the dry weather and the risk of forest fires. According to the website, the German Weather Service (DWD) prepares an annual forest fire hazard forecast for the months of March through October and categorizes the danger of forest fires into 5 hazard levels. They range from level 1, very low, to level 5, very high risk. The current level 4 requires the closure of the public barbecue areas in Wiesbaden.
Erbacher pointed out that when people have barbecues in their own yards, they still should take necessary precautions to prevent fires, such as only having barbecues outside and putting a bucket of water nearby. Additionally, current COVID-19 restrictions still apply.
Karin Morrell, assistant fire chief prevention with the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Directorate of Emergency Services, stated that having barbecues is only allowed on USAG Wiesbaden installations in specially designated pavilions and in private backyards “as long as the barbecue device is more than 10 feet away from any building, trees and shrubs.”
In the event of a fire, immediately contact the German emergency line 112 to reach the fire department or the medical emergency services.