BERLIN: As a result of a blast at a police ammunition storage site, a large fire broke out in a Berlin forest.
Since the fire area was 15,000 sqm (161,500 sq feet), it also contained a storage facility for police ammunition, firefighters have only been able so far to tackle two of the four fires.
Several explosions rocked the area at times, with one large detonation being heard by AFP at 0900 GMT. The fires have not caused any injuries.
The Berlin fire brigade requested tanks from the army in order to fight the flames. Thomas Kirstein, a spokesperson, stated that they are still waiting.
He said that “the fire is not under control” and was spreading more, adding that it is “extremely unusual with munitions”.
Officials have created a security perimeter to enable firefighters to start their work at a distance of approximately a kilometer from the ammunition storage area.
The helicopter of the police was seen hovering over the area. Authorities appealed to the public not to get too close.
Numerous regional rail lines were halted.
In parts of Germany, temperatures could soar to 40°C (104° Fahrenheit). They are expected to reach 38C in Berlin.
Brandenburg, Berlin and parts of eastern Germany have been fighting forest fires for many days.
Scientists believe that climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves in the world, which raises the risk for fires.
German weather news
According to the German weather service, on Friday, heavy thunderstorms will sweep in from the west after a scorching Thursday.
The cold front is expected to bring temperatures down to 10° overnight in Western Germany. Friday’s low will be around 20-25°C.