Norway’s Justice Minister has asked residents to think twice about lighting a fire or cooking on a disposable grill due to the risk of forest fires.
“The smell of bonfires and sausages grilling are some of the best I know. But we have to do without it for a while. So it is better to bring a sausage in a thermos or have a sandwich,” Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl told newswire NTB on Thursday.
The minister’s comments come following several large forest fires in May and dry weather, meaning blazes are easily ignited and spread. More than 400 fires were registered across the country in April.
Oslo’s fire service has also said that people should consider leaving the engangsgrill, or disposable BBQ, at home when planning a trip to the capital’s nature spots. So, what are the official rules?
Due to the risk of forest fires, campfires are generally prohibited from April 15th until September 15th in wooded areas and forests.
However, even though there is a general campfire ban in place, people are still allowed to light fires and use disposable grills in areas where a fire is unlikely, such as near snow or water, at an approved campsite, or if they are well acquainted with local conditions and rules. Oslo’s parks are also exempt from the general ban. The fire must also be at a safe distance from buildings and vegetation.
BBQs in somebody’s back garden are also fine, as the lawn is considered cultivated land. People are also allowed to burn organic garden waste but may need to notify or seek permission from their local authority first.
In times of extreme drought, local authorities can impose a total fire ban. When a total ban is in place, all open fires outdoors, with the general exception for BBQs in one’s own garden, are prohibited.
Other helpful tips
- You can check the risk of forest fires spreading where you by using yr.no.
- Fires caused by people putting disposable grills in regular bins when finished are common in Norway. However, most parks and green spaces will have designated bins typically marked “engangsgrill”, which are fire safe.
- If the fire does get out of control, the number for Norway’s fire service is 110.
- The person who lights the fire is the one who is responsible for ensuring it doesn’t spread and is properly extinguished.
(General fire ban)
(Total fire ban)
(The fire service)