Silo Fires in Schleswig-Holstein

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In July and August 2023, there was an accumulation of silo fires in Schleswig-Holstein.
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Involved Organisations:
Publishing Organisation

Federation of European Fire Officers (FEU)




Crowdsourcing, Social Media

  • Collecting and Analysing Information from SMCS
  • Making Information Accessible
Disaster Management Phase

After, During


In the night of Tuesday, 29.8.2023, a fire had started in an approx. 40 m high silo in Wesselburen (Dithmarschen district). The silo was filled with about 30 tons of grain. The temperatures in the silo were estimated to be between 600 and 700 degrees. Approximately 200 firefighters were involved in the very difficult firefighting operation until the first of September. Smoldering fires were smothered by the use of nitrogen.

While hundreds of emergency personnel were in action at that silo fire in Wesselburen, a second silo filled with oat was on fire on Wednesday, 30.8.2023, in the city of Neumünster.

Already on July 31, 2023, there was a large-scale mission for more than 200 firefighters from the Duchy of Lauenburg district and the Hamburg professional fire department: a 37-meter-high silo tower on the outskirts of Brunstorf with 200 tons of different types of grain had caught fire.

Also in August a silo fire happened in the French Atlantic port of La Rochelle (see link for information).
What was the overall goal of the Use Case?
Analyze special incidents to learn from them for the development or optimization of SOPs (standard operational procedures) and planning of interventions.
What worked well and could be recommended to others?
In X (formerly Twitter), the information provided, e.g. by @TAG24HH and @SH_Polizei was available quickly. This contributes significantly to a real-time situational picture. By evaluating the image and video data on the web, the tactics for silo fires can be updated.
What limitations were identified?

The evaluation of social media is not yet a SOP.

The incident commanders travel to the scene and after reconnaissance define the tactics on the spot. However, during the travel and the reconnaissance, important information is already available in social media, which would be helpful to the incident commander's decisions.
Which social media and crowdsourcing technologies were used?
Which social media platforms were used?
Which hashtags or keywords were used?
#Wesselburen, #Getreidesilo