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Huge wildfire spreads southwest of Berlin
World | incidents | 14:02, 24 August 2018 | 1316

AKIPRESS.COM - A wildfire the size of more than 500 soccer fields spread southwest of the German capital on Friday, leading to the evacuation of three villages, ABC News reported.

Efforts to extinguish the flames were complicated by old ammunition from World War II that is still buried in the forests around Berlin and could explode in the fire.

"The ammunition is very dangerous, because one cannot step on the ground and therefore one cannot get close to the fire" to extinguish it, Brandenburg Governor Dietmar Woidke told reporters.

More than 500 people had to leave their homes Thursday night as a result of the fire in the Treuenbrietzen region, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) outside of Berlin. Treuenbrietzen belongs to the eastern German state of Brandenburg.

"The fire continues to be a big threat," Woidke said. "But we will do everything to protect people's property."

Local lawmaker Christian Stein said there had already been several detonations due to the ammunition, and that firefighters were not allowed to enter suspicious areas. Instead, the authorities were trying to douse the flames in those areas with firefighting helicopters and water cannons.

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