Violation of bonfire laws could cost you dearly

Photo: Codan Forsikring

On April the 15th, a general fire ban was introduced in Norway. It is forbidden to light fires and barbecues in and around forests and other outdoor scrub areas.

Violation of the ban could have serious consequences.

According to Finans Norge newspaper, damages of almost NOK 200 million were reported last year from a cause of open fire and heat.

Claims, fines, and jail-time were warned against by Codan Insurance as serious consequences if you start a fire.

A fire can cause both material damage and personal injury, which is serious enough in itself. When one is obviously negligent, this will also not be covered by the insurance.

In cases of violation of the general bonfire ban, one can also be punished with a fine or prison as well as being liable to have to pay compensation said head of damages, Annika Persson of Codan Forsikring Insurance Company.

‘’To those who are now tempted to burn abruptly to get rid of last year’s dry grass, I just want to say that they have to put that idea well on the back burner’’ said Persson.

Some exceptions

According to the Norwegian Fire Protection Association, it is drier out in nature now than many people believe.

‘’In the spring, before the vegetation has turned green, the forest floor quickly becomes very dry without rain. Along with the old twigs on the ground, and the dry scrub, it causes the fire hazard to increase. Under such conditions, only a tiny spark could cause a strong fire, especially if it isalso windy’’ said CEO, Rolf Søtorp of the Norwegian Fire
Protection Association.

‘’What open fires are permitted in the prohibition period are regulated by laws in the individual municipalities. If you want to burn beyond what is regulated, you must contact the municipality’’ said Søtorp.

Although there is a general fire ban, you are allowed to light a fire where it is obvious that it cannot start further fires.

However, there must be a great deal of rainfall for it to apply if there are grass, shrubs or trees near the fire.

The general bonfire ban lasts until the 15th of September.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today