After an explosion at a police blast site in Berlin’s Grunewald forest early Thursday morning, the surrounding forest caught fire and the fire is spreading. The fire brigade is in action. According to a spokesman, the fire has now spread to 1.5 hectares, i.e. 15,000 square meters. Traffic in the southwest of Berlin is affected on central connections, and rail traffic between Berlin Central Station and Potsdam is also interrupted.

“The forest and a storage facility for ammunition found by the Berlin police are on fire,” said the fire brigade via the official warning portals “Nina” and “Katwarn”. “Explosion noises and nuisance from fire gases are to be expected.”

According to initial information, there was an unintentional explosion at the blast site. The resulting fire brigade is said to have set the adjacent forest on fire.

The fire brigade responded with more than 100 emergency services. A federal police helicopter was also deployed, and special forces from the Bundeswehr were also requested.

“The situation is unclear,” said a spokesman for the fire department. “We are currently in the consultation and observation phase.” The fire continues to spread – but residential areas are not in danger. “We will prevent that.” The nearest residential buildings are at least two kilometers away.

The drought in Grunewald and the ammunition material still stored on the site are a major challenge, the spokesman said. The emergency services therefore initially withdrew to a safety distance of 1000 meters and have not yet started extinguishing – also because of debris flying around.

Again and again in the morning there were further detonations of explosive devices. On Twitter, users reported that they could also be heard in Spandau on the other side of the Havel.

According to firefighters, no one was injured in the first explosion. How this was triggered is still completely unclear, said a police spokesman. Found ammunition is stored on the square and defused in a controlled manner by the explosive ordnance disposal service of the Berlin police.

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.

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 as well as the RB21 and RB22 lines are interrupted between Wannsee and Friedrichstrasse. The S1 line between Friedrichstrasse and Wannsee is to be used as a bypass; it can also be used to get passengers to Potsdam.