From the BZ editorial team

    The Berlin fire brigade is working with all its might to ban flames, embers and explosion hazards on and around the blast site. The BZ answers the most important questions.

    How long will Avus, the railway line and the forest area be closed?

    The restricted area around the site and the closures of the motorway and railway lines were initially maintained on Friday and are expected to continue on Saturday. “Only when the cooling is successful and the danger drops can the restricted area be reduced to a radius of 600 meters and then the motorway and the railway lines be released again,” said police spokesman Thilo Cablitz.

    Do you already know something about the cause of the fire?

    The cause was still unclear on Friday. “That was a big topic here today: how can this happen?” said fire brigade spokesman Thomas Kirstein. Several buildings on the site were already “in full fire” when the fire brigade arrived. The State Criminal Police Office has to determine whether it was arson. We also work together with the fire brigade and the demolition experts of the police.

    Can I still swim in Krumme Lanke?

    The Berlin fire brigade is still pumping water from the popular bathing lake at one point in order to extinguish the fire. Access is prohibited there. However, all bathing areas may continue to be used.

    Did the rain bring relaxation on Friday?

    no The few locally limited rain showers were not enough. According to the German Weather Service, the risk of forest fires in the region is still very high. On Saturday it will remain dry with temperatures between 23 and 26 degrees.

    more on the subject

    Is the smoke dangerous?

    no No toxins or chemicals burn. As of 3 a.m. Friday morning, the wind blew the plume of smoke across the southwest of the city. In the afternoon you could also smell the burning in Schöneberg. If smoke develops again, the fire brigade advises keeping windows and doors closed. Ventilation and air conditioning should be turned off.

    What does the fire mean for Grunewald?

    The fire is devastating for the green lungs of Berlin: a good 42 hectares of forest area have already been lost (as of Friday afternoon). “It will take years, maybe even decades, for the forest to recover,” says Katja Kammer from the Grunewald forestry office.

    Are the animals suffering in the forest?

    Many squirrels, foxes, raccoons, wild boars and a number of bird species live in Grunewald. You’re probably not at risk. “When wild animals like wild boar smell smoke or hear a bang, they instinctively flee,” says Kammer. In the immediate vicinity of the site, there was a flock of sheep that remained on site because the danger for the emergency services would have been too great if evacuated, according to the information from the fire brigade.

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