Thursday 16.07.2020

Government warns of forest fire risk at Midsummer

Check the latest fire warnings and the weather forecast before lighting bonfires.
A Midsummer bonfire in Tampere. Photo: Laura Vanzo/Visit-Tampere.
A Midsummer bonfire in Tampere. Photo: Laura Vanzo/Visit-Tampere.

The Finnish government is concerned that the Midsummer bonfires may end up causing forest fires. Therefore, it has issued a notice to all citizens.

"Every year, Midsummer bonfires lead to forest fires. Most of the fires are due to poor preparations or carelessness," the Ministry of the Interior says in a press release.

The department headed by Maria Ohisalo reminds the public that "it is always prohibited to light a bonfire when the Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a forest fire or grass fire warning. No exceptions will be granted for lighting bonfires."

In addition, bonfires may not be lit if, because of drought, wind or other reasons, the conditions are such that there is a manifest risk of a forest fire, grass fire or other fire. Regional rescue authorities may also, on reasonable grounds, prohibit the making of open fires in their rescue service regions or parts of them for a specific period of time.

Check fire warnings

The Ministry of the Interior urges people to check the latest fire warnings for forest fires or grass fires in the area from a local weather forecast or from the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (Ilmatieteenlaitos).

If there are no forest or grass fire warnings in the area, people should exercise special caution in the lighting of bonfires. The government also reminds that lighting a bonfire on someone else’s land requires permission from the landowner.

The warnings in effect regarding weather conditions and forest fire risks can be checked HERE

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