Exceptional ban on the use of fire in Oslo
All use of fire is prohibited in forests, enclosed and uncultivated areas, including established campfire sites, parks and green areas.
(PRESS RELEASE, THE CITY OF OSLO, 16 June 2023):
It is extremely dry in Oslo. This means there is a high risk of grass, heather and forest fires in the municipality. We must do all we can to prevent it. We are aware that the ban is a considerable invasion of people’s private lives.
However, there have already been numerous grass fires and heather and forest fires caused by carelessness. Our fire crews extinguish field fires every day. In addition, there have been a large number of fires in refuse containers caused by disposable barbecues.
As the risk of fire in vegetation is now obvious, we have no choice but to tighten the rules, although of course, we are sorry that this is necessary.
Ban in enclosed and uncultivated areas
The fire and rescue service in the City of Oslo has adopted a temporary regulation taking effect from 15 June 2023, banning the use of fire in the municipality.
- The temporary ban forbids lighting fires, such as campfires, or using barbecues, outdoor kitchens or other cooking appliances, fire pits and other forms of fire using solid fuel (wood, coal, briquettes, grass, twigs or the like) in forests and other uncultivated areas, or near enough for fire to spread over the ground.
- The same applies to enclosed areas. In this regulation, enclosed areas cover building sites, cultivated fields, meadows, cultivated pastures and similar areas.
- This means that permanent and constructed campfire sites may not be used in Oslo Municipality.
- Property owners who have established fire sites, whether private or public, must close them, and not allow them to be used for fires or barbecues.
- Parks and green areas are also covered by the ban.
- Violation of the regulation, deliberately or unintentionally, may be punishable by a fine or imprisonment; cf. S. 42 of the Fire and Explosion Prevention Act.
Barbecuing in private gardens is permitted
- The fire and rescue service points out that barbecuing is permitted in private gardens.
- In addition, barbecues are permitted in school yards and car parks and on sports grounds, provided they are not close to forests or fields.
- As always, it is the individual’s duty to take due care during any activity that could cause a fire.
Commercial forestry and the like
- We ask contractors operating, for instance, in forestry, carrying out linesman’s work for power or telecommunications, edge cutting along the road network or grinding railway lines to assess the risk of fire and take steps to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
No Midsummer Eve bonfires
- The ban means that Midsummer Eve bonfires will not be allowed this year.
- Any permits which have already been issued are to be considered automatically withdrawn.
- The temporary ban applies until 30 June.
- If the risk of forest fires is significantly reduced, the authorities will consider revoking the ban earlier.
- This will be announced in the same way as the introduction of the regulation.
General prohibition of fires
- If the regulation is revoked, the general prohibition of fires will still apply.
- This prohibition applies every year in the period from 15 April to 15 September throughout the country, and in general forbids the lighting of fires near forests and other open areas.
- Besides fires, this includes the use of disposable barbecues, fire pits and other equipment for barbecuing.
- Remember that you must always be responsible, no matter where or when you light a fire.
In recent weeks we have had numerous fires in flower containers, window boxes and the like on balconies and patios and at street level. These can potentially spread to the rest of the building and cause complex building fires.
- DO NOT use flower containers or window boxes on balconies and patios and at street level to put out cigarette stubs.
- Take care when using barbecues or anything else that could cause a fire on private property, especially on balconies or patios, and in gardens.