16 • 03 • 2021

Remediation Works are Carried out at Forest Infrastructure Sites to Neutralize Explosive Objects

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“In order not to endanger those who perform forest infrastructure construction works, LVM tries to carry out the remediation of explosive objects already at the design stage of construction sites. This approach allows the contractor to include the funds needed to perform these works in the initial cost estimate. Finding and utilizing explosive objects or remediation of the territory is a relatively expensive task. This can be done only by a few companies specially licensed for such works,” tells Miervaldis Vītols, Head of Technical Supervision at LVM Forest Infrastructure.

This historical evidence is not always clearly visible and identifiable in nature; therefore, the designer must also think like a historian. Today, the remote sensing options available at LVM are of a great help. For example, LIDAR terrain model shows areas bombed in air strikes and trenches, indicating former front lines. LVM forest infrastructure specialists, on the other hand, often try to guess at which facilities there may be any unexploded ordnance based on their previous experience.

In the territory of Zvārde Forest District, there is usually the largest portion of unexploded ordnance to be found. This is natural, because in the territory of this forest district there were both a front line and the popularly called “Zvārde training ground”, the territory of which was used by the Soviet army as a training ground for military aviation training.

Explosives found in the LVM territory

“Currently, construction works are being carried out on the forest road “Māliņu ceļš” in the vicinity of Blīdene. Additional funds are provided for the works to be performed at this facility in order to search for and dispose of any unexploded ordnance. In winter, it is not possible to carry out remediation services because of the frost, therefore the builder had to wait for the land to thaw. And this time, it turned out to be the right decision, because on the first day, upon inspecting only a 300-metre-long section of the road, professionals found a significant amount of unexploded ordnance. Remediation works are continuing and it is clear that more charges will be found,” tells Mārcis Cielava, LVM Forest Infrastructure Specialist.

“Places where post-war evidence can be found are also popular with illegal antiquarians, who, in search of something valuable, often dig up and leave explosive objects on the surface. For example, some time ago during the construction of Ķauķi Road, the builder informed us that suspicious objects had been noticed in the territory of the facility. We found that over the weekend, illegal antique seekers or scrap metal collectors had visited the facility and left the finds that they did not need in a pile on the ditch edge in the territory of the facility. It turned out that there were also explosives in the pile, so the builder had to stop the work and call the responsible services, which would dispose of the explosives,” tells LVM Forest Infrastructure Specialist Mārcis Cielava.