Drought in Iceland Spurs Concerns over Fire Risk Skip to content

Drought in Iceland Spurs Concerns over Fire Risk

Fire departments in Iceland have raised concerns about the lack of rain and resulting increased fire risk in all parts of the country after the brigade battled brush fires in Gufunes cemetery in the capital and Skorradalur near Borgarnes, West Iceland, on Monday night.

skorradalsvatn_wikiSkorradalsvatn. Photo: Wikipedia.

No damage was caused to the cemetery as the flames burnt an unused area several hundred square meters in size.

According to the fire department, there has been a significant increase in the frequency of brush fires. “This is something that we need to address seriously. This is a new threat that we have to accept,” fire marshal in Borgarbyggð municipality, Bjarni Kristinn Þorsteinsson, told Fréttablaðið.

The fire department has asked people to take care when lighting fires. No response plans regarding brush fires exists for the summerhouse communities in Iceland except in cases where regional authorities have taken the initiative to carry out such plans.

A plan for the summerhouse community of Skorradalur near will be introduced this week.

Brush fires raged in the area on Saturday evening. Water collection from Lake Skorradalssvatn was highlighted as an issue, as well as the difficulty in reaching the lake by fire truck.

“Conditions can be really dangerous because of the change in weather,” Bjarni said, adding that Skorradalur is one of the most dangerous places in drought.

Because of how densely summer houses are constructed, brush fires can cause severe damages to properties and it is possible that people become trapped because of brush fires in the area.

ZR

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