Berlin — A large fire broke out in one of Berlin’s largest urban forests on Thursday morning. This was due to multiple explosions at an ammunition depot in the forest on what is predicted to be one of the hottest days yet this year.
More than 100 firefighters were battling blazes in the forests of the German capital Grunewald, west of the city, German news agency dpa reported.
The fire spread rapidly, and massive explosions were heard from where old World War II ammunition, fireworks, and explosive weapons were stored and controlled explosions were made.
“The situation is dangerous,” Thomas Kirstein, from the Berlin fire department, told reporters. “The fire is out of control and the forest is burning out of control.”
Kirstein said it was not clear what caused the first explosion at an ammunition depot early Thursday.
He called on residents to stay away from the forest. Due to flying debris and fear of further explosions, the fire department said emergency forces had to keep him 1 km (more than half a mile) away from the blaze and had not yet begun to systematically extinguish the fire. Stated. Firefighters at the scene were pouring water into the woods outside the restricted area around the ammunition depot to try to prevent the blaze from spreading further.
They also planned to fly a drone over the ammunition depot to get aerial imagery so they could better assess the situation.
“The plan is to get a new situational assessment from the blast site, first from the air,” Carstein said, adding that he hopes to access the area with armored vehicles later in the day. The hectare area is on fire Thursday morning.
Berlin officials called for additional task forces to help put out the flames, including German special forces. Water cannons and special evacuation tanks were also scheduled to be on the scene.
Commuter rail service to the west of the city was partially disrupted and one of the city’s most important highways, the Avus, was closed. The homes were not directly threatened by the blazes, but the fire department said dry conditions in the forest and unusual heat, with a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) expected Thursday, caused the blazes to continue. He warned that it could spread further.