Hundreds flee amid buried WW2 ammo risk as wildfire burns near Berlin
Hundreds of people have fled their homes as a wildfire the size of 400 football pitches continues to spread on the outskirts of Berlin.
Three villages southwest of the German capital have been evacuated, with efforts to contain the flames complicated by fears that Second World War ammunition found buried at the scene could explode.
Some of the ammo buried in the forests of Treuenbrietzen, some 31 miles from Berlin, has already detonated.
Hundreds of firefighters have been deployed, but the presence of the ammunition means efforts to put out the blaze have been limited to trying to cut down trees to limit its spread.
About 500 people have so far left their homes in the villages of Frohnsdorf, Klausdorf and Tiefenbrunnen.
The fire started on Thursday afternoon and strong overnight winds have blown smoke over Berlin, where people in some areas have been advised to keep their windows closed.
Water cannon and helicopters have also been sent to the scene.
Local MP Christian Stein told Germany news agency DPA: “Our main goal is to protect the evacuated villages from the flames. We haven’t been able to push back the fire but none of the buildings have been damaged.”
Mr Stein said he hoped the weather would settle over the weekend to give the firefighters a boost.
Much like the rest of Europe, Germany has experienced unusually high temperatures in recent months and locals are yearning for rain after what has been a hot and dry summer.