Wildfires are setting off hundreds of unexploded bombs on WWI battlefields, endangering firefighters
By Joshua Zitser
via the Business Insider web site
The summer's unusually hot temperatures have led to several wildfires across Europe and, according to Vice World News, they are setting off unexploded World War 1 bombs in the process.
A wildfire in the southwest Kras region of Slovenia, which officials told The Washington Post was the biggest since the country's independence in 1991, has destroyed more than 8,000 acres of farmland.
It's also led to the explosion of countless WWI-era bombs, which had laid dormant for more than 100 years, per reports.
Darko Zonjič, the commander of Slovenia's explosive ordnance disposal unit, told Slovenian media that they've stopped counting the number of detonations of these historic ordnances because there have been so many. Officials are now only taking note of explosions taking place near roads, Zonjič said.
It is estimated that, as of Thursday, there had been more than 500 detonations, according to local media.
The unexploded ordnances, mostly underground, explode when they overheat due to the extreme rising of temperatures as a result of the fires.
An incident on July 22 saw the heat from the raging fire set off an unexploded WWI-era bomb, launching shrapnel at nearby firefighters, per local media. Nobody was injured.
"The EOD State Unit was successful in this, as there were no injuries or casualties among the firefighters," Boh said.
The unit has so far removed 821 pieces of explosive remnants of war, weighing 4,630 lbs, according to Boh.
The danger of the fire setting off further unexploded bombs remains an issue and people are warned against walking on the land near the wildfire, said Slovenia's defense minister Marjan Šarec, according to local media.
Read the entire article on the Business Insider web site.
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