The extreme forest fire hazard in many parts of southern Norway persists in the days ahead. On Sunday, the fire department tirelessly extinguished fires in several places.
The police and the fire department had full right to make people comply with the prohibition of the use of open fire in open and wooded areas. The reason is obvious. Long-term dry and warm weather has created extreme forest fires across large parts of southern Norway.
The Meteorological Institute reported on Sunday that the danger level is at its highest – “very high risk of forest fire hazards” – and it will be throughout eastern, southern and western Norway up to Hordaland for several days to come. It is only north of Trøndelag that there is little or no risk beyond normal.
On Sunday there were reports of several major forest fires, as well as a large number of smaller forest, grass and heather fires in different parts of the country – from Trøndelag in the north to the Agder counties in the south.
Time long battle
In Lommedalen, Akershus, cabins and cottages were at risk of being taken by the flames, but the cabins appeared to be out of danger by Sunday evening – after several hours of constant fire fighting in very difficult terrain. The fire department has found a campfire place with a burned coffee pot which is the alleged culprit.
Just before 9 pm the fire department reported that the fire was under control and far from the road. The fire helicopter had poured over 80,000 liters of water over the flames. Around 120 acres of forest land had been burned by the fire.
Total ban on open fire
There is a total ban on the use of barbecue grills and all other types of open fire in areas near forests and wooded areas in a number of places around the country. On Saturday, the fire department in Eastern Norway despaired over people who ignored the ban, and were lighting one-time grills in the good weather.
The situation was so serious that the police threatened with citations and fines for those who violate the ban.
On Sunday, the fire department did not have the capacity to send personnel to all barbecues: “the Oslo Fire Department is aware that barbecues are taking place in large parts of Oslo. People do not need to call 110 to report them. We will send fire trucks when we have the capacity,” 110 emergency central station tweeted around 4 pm.
Danger of spreading
At Ombo in Ryfylke there was a danger that a forest fire would spread to the neighborhood. Three helicopters participated in extinguishing the fire that was reported on Sunday morning. It broke out about 100 meters up from ferry station on Eidssund, according to the Southwest police district.
Ten hours later, the fire was not under control.Stavanger Aftenblad was able to report a fourth fire helicopter was on duty against the blaze. By then around 1,000 acres of woods had burned .
Many smaller fires
Just after 1 pm on Sunday, emergency services moved out to a forest fire in an area near Åvika in Åsenfjorden, operating director Hans Christian Jannisson in Trøndelag police district told Trønder-Avisa.
In addition, there were a large number of reports from the police and 110 centers on Twitter about minor fires around southern Norway. In many cases, it was a campfire and single grills that had caused the fires, as in Haugesund. “A 36-year-old man will be receiving a criminal citation after causing a grass and heather fire at Vangen bathing area by using a one-time barbecue grill,” Southwest police district says.
On Sunday morning a grass and thicket fire at Sikthaugen in Bergen was quickly extinguished. The fire was caused by a one time use grill, according to the fire service, reports Bergens Tidende.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today