Several grass fires in Oslo that police suspect are arson

Grass firesGrass fires.Photo.

The warm Easter weather entails great forest fire danger in several parts of the country. On Monday, a number of grass fires arose in Oslo and the police suspect the fires were lit on purpose.

On Monday afternoon, the fire service moved out to four different grass fires in the capital, respectively at Skøyenåsen school, Vestli Metro station, Grorud Metro station and at Sagene.

None of the grass fires were of a significant character. The police suspect that several of the fires had been lit on purpose.

‘’Often, young people had been observed on the spot just before the grass fires.

In connection with the fire in Vestli, we talked to young people at the scene. So far, they are not directly linked to the fire, but we have created a case file’’ said operations manager, Tor Jøkling of Oslo police district to NTB news.

Explosive fire hazard

The grass on the ground now is last year’s grass that has been lying under the snow and is now crushed according to the fire service. Thus, there is a so-called ‘explosive fire hazard’ with very flammable grass.

‘’There is every reason to be very careful with all use of open fire, such as bonfires and the like’’ warned Jøkling.

‘’This weekend there was a grass fire on one of the islands in Oslo that spread to two outbuildings that burned down completely. A small grass fire can spread very quickly to buildings, and in the worst cases causes great damage and worse’’ said the operational manager.

‘’Exceptionally dry April’’

This year’s Easter has been characterised by very hot weather and the meteorologists have reported an unusually dry April. The last few days, over 20 degrees had been registered in almost all counties in southern Norway.

But the warm weather also brings with it forest fire hazards and the last week has brought fire to several places around the country.

On Friday, the grass was alight on the Løvstakken mountain in Bergen. Large crews and helicopters were involved in extinguishing work that took many hours. On Saturday night, the fire flared up again, but the fire department quickly took control of the fire, which started in areas of scrubland.

Ban on fires

On April the 14th, a general bonfire ban was introduced across the country. Until September 15, it is forbidden to light a fire and grill (also a disposable grill) in or near forests and other outfields.

Although there is a general fire ban, one is still allowed to light a fire where it is obvious that it cannot start a fire. This can be, for example, if there is snow on the ground, or if it has been raining for a long time, or one is on a beach with a good distance to the forest.

However, there may be local variations from municipality to municipality on what is lawful or not.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today