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MAPS: Where is there a risk of forest fire in Norway this week?

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
MAPS: Where is there a risk of forest fire in Norway this week?
Norway is facing a heightened risk of forest fires. Photo by Neil Mark Thomas on Unsplash

There is a risk of forest fires this week across large parts of southern Norway, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute has reported. Here are the main areas affected.

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The Norwegian Meteorological Institute's forest fire danger index was already red, yellow, or orange, right across southern Norway on Monday, signalling a risk of forest fires.

The dark red "very high risk" area was, however, limited on Monday to a patch along the coast of Østfold.

The risk of forest fires on May 20th. Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute (NMI)

On Tuesday, the area of "very high danger" is forecast to spread to cover all of Østfold and areas of Vestfold, with patches of high risk area in Agder around Kristiansand.  

The risk of forest fires in Norway on Tuesday May 21st. Photo: NMI

By Wednesday, large parts of Rogaland and Agder are likely to be classed as "very high risk", as well as areas of Trondelag around Trondheim. Much of central southern Norway will mid-week be classed as at serious risk of forest fire. 

The risk of forest fires in Norway on Wednesday May 22nd. Source: NMI

Have there been any fire bans announced? 

In Norway there is a general fire ban in place every year from April 15th to September 15th, which bans the lighting of bonfires in forests, beaches, the mountains, meadows, marshes, and other types of wilder landscapes

Norwegian municipalities or counties can then institute an "extraordinary" or "total" fire ban, which means you are no longer allowed to light a fire even in green areas in cities and towns such as public parks and municipal barbecue areas, or to use a camping stove in forests and other wilder landscapes. 

So far as The Local can see, no municipality has yet issued an extraordinary or total fire ban this year, but Stein Laache, the fire chief in Fredrikstad told NRK on Monday that he and the fire chiefs from 29 other municipalities were considering bringing in a ban "in a few days".

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He said that the ban could be a targeted at activities in the forest that could lead to a fire, such as forest itself or shooting at rifle ranges.

Fire servces in Sarpsborg said in a press release on Monday that they were considering bringing in a broader ban. 

"The fire service is continuously considering an extraordinary and extended ban on starting fires in and near forests and other wild, natural areas," the municipality said in its press release, with the local fire chief Terje Surdal adding that "such a ban could be brought in at short notice". 

Terje Romskog, the fire chief for the Rakkestad Municipality, told the NTB newswire that people in the municipality should of their own accord hold back from lighting fires. 

"There is one thing that applies: do not light anything – whether it's a fire for coffee, a primus or a disposable grill. You have no idea how quickly it can spread and how big a fire can become."

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