People need to be cautious about setting off forest fires

forest fireForest fire: Freddie Larsen / NTB scanpix

‘We were close to getting a forest fire yesterday’, said the fire chief.

Fire stations in Telemark have had to go out to extinguish several grass fires over the past few days, and now 110 Sentralen warned people against making light of the situation.

‘It is very dry now, and it only needs a small spark to start a fire’, said the assistant chief fireman, Richard Kvalsvik,to 110 Sentralen.

According to Kvalsvik, they were very close to a fire in Hjartdal evolving into a forest fire on Saturday.
‘Grass burned uphill, which is the worst compared to scattering when the heat rises. There was a danger that it could become a forest fire, so we considered bringing out a forest fire helicopter, but fortunately, crews managed to extinguish the flames’, said Kvalsvik.

The fire was so powerful that crews from both Seljord and Notodden fire departments were called in.

‘It is thanks to the persistent efforts of the crews that we got away with only a grass fire today, said Kvalsvik.

Fortunately, there were only scattered settlements of people in the area, and so no risk of it spreading to houses.
In addition to the fire in Hjartdal, the fire department in Skien extinguished a grass fire on Moflata. Notodden fire department had to deal with a wildfire in Saulandsvegen, while Porsgrunn fire department dealt with a wildfire in Rachebakken.

‘The fires start because people are careless. It might only be a small ember from a cigarette, or a spark sputtering from a bar-b-q that could start a fire’, said the fire chief.

In several cases, the fire department found that the heat from a bar-b-q had started fires a number of hours after the grilling had been done.

‘People need to be cautious, and take extra care with matches and sparks, as it takes so little to start a major forest conflagration’, said Kvalsvik.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today