Smoke billows over Grunewald forest in Berlin after a large fire broke out in the popular forest following an explosion in a police munitions storage site on August 4, 2022. - The affected area of 15,000 square metres (161,500 square feet) includes a storage site for police ammunition. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER / AFP)

After a fire and several explosions at a blasting and test site used by the police to dispose of explosive ordnance, the surrounding forest caught fire in Grunewald early Thursday morning. The fire in Nikolassee burns uncontrollably on 1.5 hectares, i.e. 15,000 square meters.

The fire brigade is on a large scale, but is currently still keeping a safety distance of 1000 meters due to ongoing explosions. At noon, the fire brigade began extinguishing the fire in two places. However, fire-fighting helicopters are not available – they are in use in Saxon Switzerland.

Kronprinzessinnenweg, Havelchaussee and Autobahn 115 (Avus) in both directions between Spanish Allee and Hüttenweg are closed in this area.

The warning portals called for people to avoid the affected area and drive around it. Residents should keep windows and doors closed. Ventilation and air conditioning should be turned off. The fire brigade urgently warned the population not to enter the forest on Thursday despite the expected heat.

According to the Berlin S-Bahn, train service on line S7 is interrupted due to the fire between the Grunewald and Wannsee stations. In regional traffic, the RE1 and RE7 lines are currently being diverted via Golm with a stop in Charlottenburg. The Potsdam Hauptbahnhof and Berlin-Wannsee stops are no longer available. The RB21 and RB22 lines are interrupted between Berlin-Wannsee and Berlin-Friedrichstrasse. Passengers can still take the S1 to Potsdam.

In long-distance traffic, only the intercity connection in the direction of Magdeburg/Hanover/Stendal/Amsterdam is affected. The IC trains are currently being diverted via Spandau. Stops in Berlin-Wannsee and Potsdam are omitted. “An initial forecast suggests that the blockage cannot be lifted before this afternoon,” Deutsche Bahn said on Twitter in the morning

After an explosion at a police blast site in Berlin’s Grunewald early Thursday morning, the surrounding forest caught fire. The fire burns uncontrollably on 1.5 hectares, i.e. 15,000 square meters.

The fire brigade initially responded with more than 100 forces. The police brought clearing tanks and water cannons to Grunewald. A federal police helicopter was also deployed, and special forces from the Bundeswehr were also requested. (Tsp,dpa,AFP)