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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 09.07.2020, 21:54

Period of fire hazard to be declared across Estonia starting Friday

BC, Tallinn , 26.03.2020.Print version

The fast increase in the number of landscape fires in recent weeks indicates the start of a fire hazardous time in Estonia -- the Rescue Board is to declare a period of fire hazard across the entire territory of Estonia starting Friday, informed LETA/BNS. 

Tagne Tahe, head of the safety supervision department of the Rescue Board, said that people must be extremely careful when having a bonfire or grilling in nature as even a small mistake when using open fire in nature may bring along grave consequences.

"A neglected fire may very easily turn into a fire that endangers both nature as well as people and their homes. Wind can spread the fire quickly, the fire will travel very quickly due to the dryness of the land and can thus light an extensive landscape fire that will be very difficult to get under control," Tahe added.

Due to the spread of coronavirus, there is an emergency situation currently in effect in Estonia and people are prohibited from gathering. People are only allowed to move around with their family members or at most in pairs, while avoiding contact with any other people and making sure to keep a distance of at least two meters. Given the requirements of the emergency situation, it is also reasonable to leave the barbecue and spending time in the wild for the future once the restrictions have ended.

Altogether 65 forest and landscape fires have occurred in Estonia in the last two weeks, many of which have been extensive. Warm weather indicates that the number of fires on the landscape is rapidly increasing.

During a period of fire hazard, fires can be lit only in designated places. When lighting a fire in the woods or on terrain as well as in one's own garden, fire safety requirements must be adhered to. Before lighting a fire, the Rescue Board suggests that people investigate the legal acts of local governments -- fires may be banned in densely populated areas or the acts may lay down the list of items that can be burnt in the fire.

Fires can be lit only in light wind conditions and people must carefully ensure that sparks from the fire do not land on flammable materials. The location of the fire must be chosen so that it is a safe distance away from buildings and the forest. Open fires must never be left unsupervised, it must be allowed to burn until the end, it must be extinguished with water or smothered, for example, with sand. It is important to make sure that the fire does not cause a grass fire.

The Rescue Board reminded that grass fires are prohibited all year round.

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