Wildfires Are Setting Off 100-Year-Old Bombs on WWI Battlefields

There are so many explosions due to the raging fire that officials have stopped counting them, local news reported.

"The problem is that because of the unexploded ordnance firefighting units cannot penetrate into the fire but can only act on its edges. This is why the fire is being intensively fought from the air as well," Slovenian defense minister Marjan Šarec told the press.

The area where the fire rages was the site of 12 battles during World War I. More than 200,000 people died and untold numbers of explosives were used. [...]

Finding and disposing of that material is deadly work. In France, the remnants of the first World War are called the récolte de fer or Iron Harvest. Since the end of World War II, 630 bomb disposal officers have died in France alone. [...] It's estimated that clearing Europe of munitions from the World Wars will take another 100 years.

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One Response:

  1. cmt says:

    Same thing between Brandenburg and Saxony (Germany), only the UXO is somewhat more recent (the Soviet Army had a few training grounds over there): https://www.dw.com/en/residents-evacuated-from-homes-as-fire-rages-in-eastern-germany/a-62256862 "[..] efforts were partly hampered by the crews having to avoid a large former military training area still littered with potentially explosive munitions."

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