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Monday, August 15, 2022

Germany. A fire in the Grunewald forest. The firefighting operation is hampered by unexploded bombs from World War II

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The fire in the Grunewald forest, near Berlin, to extinguish the fire that has been going on since Thursday morning as “the most dangerous operation since the war”. The hot ground here reaches 700 degrees Celsius in some places, and the nearby roads and railroads remain closed.

Over a day after a fire broke out in the Grunewald forest on the outskirts of Berlin extinguishing works are still in progress. The surrounding roads as well as regional and long-distance trains still do not run or are redirected to other routes.

The fire occurred after an explosion at an explosives depot in Berlin.

The fire in the Grunewald forest is being extinguishedPAP / EPA / FILIP SINGER

Unexploded explosions hinder the firefighting operation

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The actions of the emergency services are significantly impeded by the unexploded bombs from World War II in the forest, and several detonations have already taken place. The rescue operation is supported by the Bundeswehr with specialized equipment.

The biggest problem is still the site of the fire – the explosives storage, where the initial explosion that started the fire took place.

The fire in the Grunewald forest is being extinguishedPAP / EPA / FILIP SINGER

Two bombs from the war were too hot and needed to be cooled down

While the spread of the fire was prevented, it is still unclear when the site itself and the explosives stored there will no longer pose a threat. There are several minor fires to be extinguished in Grunewald, and in some places the ground has heated up to 700 degrees Celsius from open fire, informed police spokesman Thilo Cablitz. “The two war bombs there were too hot and needed to be cooled down,” he added.

The radius of the restricted area under restricted security by the guards is currently a kilometer. “Only when the cooling is successful, and thus the danger is reduced, will this area be reduced to a radius of 600 meters. Only this will allow the motorway and railway lines to reopen. We do not know exactly when this will happen” – said the spokesman for the police.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / FILIP SINGER

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