The shock after the fire is still deep months later

The shock after the fire is still deep months later
Burning agricultural machinery can have devastating consequences.

It was August 13, 2023, when the fire department sirens in St. Veit im Mühlkreis began to wail at 2:40 p.m. A date that has literally been burned into the Rechberger family’s memory.

At that time, the wheel loader that was parked in the hayloft caught fire due to a cable fire. Although the fire department arrived quickly, the machine burned down completely and the flames damaged large parts of the hall. Damage value: 230,000 euros.

“Fires can be a threat to the existence of agriculture, especially in agriculture,” said Agricultural Councilor Michaela Langer-Weninger (VP) at yesterday’s press conference on the subject of fire prevention. The longer periods of heat and drought also increase the risk of forest and field fires.

Every fifth fire in Upper Austria breaks out in agriculture. According to Harald Leitner, head of the Fire Prevention Agency (BVS) Upper Austria, around a third is triggered by electrical energy. Stoves, stoves or fireplaces cause a further 20 percent, around seven percent are caused by open fires and another six by lightning strikes. If the worst comes to the worst, the right insurance coverage is important, says Rosemarie Ferstl, Vice President of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Agriculture.

“We were lucky in misfortune. Still, when I hear the date, a chill runs down my spine,” says Martin Rechberger. The charred wooden beams of the roof structure are still a reminder of the fire today.

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