Forest fires in several places

Forest fire, waste plant Forest fires fire helicopterForest fire. Photo:

Forest fires in several places

The Fire Service has partial control over forest fire

Wind and steep terrain has made for great challenges for the crews who have tried to gain control of the forest fires on the Ombo Island in Ryfylke.


– We have partial control of the fire. There are still three helicopters working on extinguishing, but it looks good for buildings, Chief of Rogaland Fire and Rescue, Nils-Erik Haagenrud, tells NRK just before 7 pm.

Three fire helicopters are involved in the extinguishing and will continue to work throughout the evening and into the night.

– It is difficult terrain, and we must consider the safety of our own employees. Now the helicopter takes care of the pine forest and the rugged terrain, he says.

One person suffers from burns after taking part in the fire fighting.

Wind creates problems

Up to 30 people are in involved in fighting the forest fire.

– The wind has increased in strength, and there are changing wind directions. That is a challenge to us, says the Chief of the Fire Brigade on Sunday afternoon.

For a long time, the Fire and Rescue Service considered evacuation of residents, but it now seems as if that will not be necessary.

The Fire Department currently does not know what started the fire.

National Guard into the terrain

It was on Sunday morning that the emergency services moved out to the island in Ryfylke, after a notification about the forest fire at around 10 am. The fire is in an area in the hills near the ferry landing at Eidssund.

– The wind has increased and the fire has escalated somewhat. We have a lot of people in place and are in full swing. There is a lot of wind in the hills, and hard to reach parts of the steep terrain. The Fire Chief has now requested forest fire helicopters to help in the extinguishing, says Deputy Leader, Stein Arild Egeland around 11:30 am.

The Civil Defense (National Guard) is also called in to help in extinguishing the fire.

No danger to buildings

Before the Emergency Services were in place, eight to ten inhabitants of the island started the fire fighting. One of them has been sent by the ambulance boat “Rygerdoktoren” for treatment in Stavanger

– The person has suffered burns on his hands, and was exhausted by the work, reports Operation Manager in the Police, Brit Randulff.

The Fire helicopter will restrict the fire from spreading to the settlement on the west side of the Ombo Island. The Fire Services reports that they are currently in control of the situation.

Bone dry

The forest fires in southern Norway have increased further after a long spell of dry and warm weather. It is now termed a very high forest fire hazard in Rogaland, the Agder counties and Eastern Norway.

The Meteorological Institute also issued a notice for Western Norway and Trøndelag on Sunday. The meteorologists warn against very high danger of grass, heather and forest fires locally until there are ample amounts of rain. The warning note is valid until Tuesday morning.

– It’s so dry outside now. The danger of fires has not been so high for many years, says Egeland.

The Norwegian Fire Services in southern Norway has introduced a total ban on fires in the countryside, even in places that normally are deemed suitable for barbecuing. Do you want to barbeque in the nice weather, it is only allowed in your own garden. There are several who defy the ban nonetheless and light up the BBQ in the nature. That can prove to be  expensive.

– People must be extremely careful and respect the total ban, says the Operation Manager.

More and more municipalities introduce a total ban. As of Sunday afternoon, the Hordaland municipalities Austevoll, Fjell, Sund and Øygarden have issued a total ban. From before the ban applies to Bergen, Samnanger, Osterøy and Vaksdal.

Current details of forest fire hazards in individual municipalities can be found here.


Heather fire in Holvik out of control

A heavy heather fire in Holvik in Vågsøy municipality is out of control, and the Fire Services has now begun to evacuate people.

– The fire is spreading rapidly and we are not in control of it, says Jan Gunnar Holvik at the Alarm Centre in Florø.

The fire started simultaneously with another heather fire in the vicinity of the centre of Måløy, which is now extinguished. In Holvik the fire is however out of control.

– The fire in Holvik is strong and spreading. It is north-easterly wind in the area, which means that we do not have control there, says Nina Andal at the Alarm Centre in Florø

At the Police’s Operating Centre in Bergen, they state that both the Fire Services, Police and Ambulance are present at the fire site in Holvik.

– That fire is of a greater extent than the one in Måløy, the Fire Services is not in control of it yet. It is spreading, says Operations Manager Frode Kolltveit.

The Fire Services has got hold of a helicopter that they will use in the fire fighting, and are now making use of it.

Both fires have started in high-voltage lines

The fire in Måløy was less than 100 meters from a building in Gate 7 in Måløy, and close to high-voltage lines. Electricity is now disconnected in many parts of the town centre.

The fire in Holvik also supposedly originated in high-voltage lines, and there the electricity is disconnected as well. It is about 400 metres to the nearest house.

We have partial control of the fire

About 600 square meters of forest is burning in Lommedalen. The extinguishing will continue in the evening, informs Asker and Bærum Fire Department.

Just after 2 pm on Sunday afternoon, Oslo Fire and Rescue Service reported of a forest fire in Lommedalen in Bærum.

Both the police and the fire department are on site. Operatons Manager in the Fire Service on the spot, Mathias Drange, stands approx. 300 metres away from the fire area as the crow flies when NRK talks to him.

– From our position there are no visible flames, but it burns in an area that is very inaccessible. We currently have 13 men in the forest divided into three teams. Right now, we estimate that there is talk of between 600 m² and one hectare that is burning, Drange tells NRK at 4.30 pm.

Early warning

The fire chief states that both the Civil Defense and a forest fire helicopter assist in the fire fighting.

– The Civil Defense Emergency Group and our forest fire helicopter are working non-stop with shuttling in buckets of water to extinguish the flames. Per nå har vi ikke kontroll på brannen, men den begynner å avta, forteller Drange.

It is still unclear what caused the fire

– But the extremely dry in the wilderness and the forest fire hazard is sky high, so this is critical: In this case, we were fortunately notified at an early stage so we have good hope of obtaining control of the fire.

– This is an extremely clear example of what we talked about before the weekend regarding fire safety in nature, says Senior Operation Manager at the Oslo Fire and Rescue Service, Lars Magne Hovtun.

Ask people to stay away

There has been a lot of people coming to the area where it burns in the last hour, the fire department reports.

– That’s not something we want. We encourage people to stay away and not seek out the area. If too many people drive their cars up here, they can come in the way of fire trucks and civil defense – it’s a cramped space, says Drange to NRK.

It’s quite far into the woods in the Lommedalen that burns, towards an area called Tobonn.

– We have to walk a while to reach the fire site. That applies to the Fire Services as well, says Operations Manager in the Oslo Police District, Vidar Pedersen.

According to the police, it is currently difficult to get an overview of the size of the fire. There are not many houses in the area.

– There are several notifications from different locations in Lommedalen, so it’s possible that it is a relatively large fire, says Pedersen.

Keeps guard to prevent fire from resurging

– The forest fires at Åsenfjorden started after a fire from Saturday resurged on Sunday, according to the Fire Chief at the spot.

The fire was discovered by a hiker on Sunday around 1 pm. By 7 pm the 110-centre in Namsos announced that the fire was extinguished, and that the fire department was doing final mopping up only.

– The area affected by fire is 200 x 200 metres, says Geir Ove Fossli at the 110-centre in Namsos to

Put out yesterday and early today

The fire chief, Rigman Pents, says the fire started after a bonfire yesterday.

– Those who lit the fire extinguished it on Saturday and made an extra round on Sunday morning. The fire nevertheless flared up and developed into a forest fire, according to the fire chief.

The area is bone dry and the fire department will keep a guard for a couple of days to prevent the fire from resurging once again.

Helicopter was part of the fire fight

There is not much wind in the area, according to the forecast. And neither should there have been any buildings threatened, says the Fire Chief.

The fire was effectively extinguished by fire helicopter and ground crew.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today