Fire brigades in Aachen and Dusseldorf fight the drought instead of fires

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In what could become the hottest summer of record, fire brigades in Germany announced they will provide dying trees with water.

After weeks without much rain, the voluntary fire brigades in the Western cities of Aachen and Dusseldorf have started to fight the drought instead of fires. Other cities like Wuppertal have planned such missions for Monday, according to the city council.

The Association of firefighters (VdF) of Germany’s biggest state of North Rhine-Westphalia has called these tree-saving operations extraordinary. Watering trees is not considered an obligatory task for fire brigades, such as disaster control, human rescue, assistance in the event of accidents, and actually putting out fires.

“It is a normal process that fire brigades help out from time to time”, Christoph Schoeneborn, Managing Director of the VdF told the German press agency (dpa) on Friday. The decision on if and when the fire brigade lends a hand is made on a local level.

The summer of 2018 could become the hottest on record. The German weather service (DWD) expects 34 degrees and even more on Friday, meteorologist Lars Kirchhuebel said on Wednesday.

In many places the average number of days on which the temperature reaches 25 degrees Celsius or more, has already been exceeded. Experts predict that the summer of 2018 could even top the summer of 2003 which was dubbed the “summer of the century” for its high temperatures and amount of sunny days.

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