The Public Access Canoeing 

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Right and Wrong in The
Lighting fires
and the right of public access

"It wasn't us that set fire to the forest. We only lit a tiny fire on the grass verge."

Throughout the ages, fire has fascinated Man. A crackling fire adds spice to outdoor life. But it can also cause untold damage if it is not handled in the right way. The right of public access does not give you the right to light a fire - only the possibility of doing so under safe circumstances.

Frequent ban on lighting fires during summer
During the summer, it is often forbidden to light a fire in the countryside because of the enormous risk of fire. Information about any bans on the lighting of fires is normally broadcast in conjunction with local radio news bulletins, in traffic reports and published in the local press. You can generally also obtain information at camping sites, tourist offices and from the municipal rescue services. Several municipalities have a telephone answering machine which provides information about the risk of fire. Refer to the green pages of the telephone catalogue under the headings Brandförsvar (Fire Brigade) or Räddningstjänst (Rescue Service). The fire-risk is given on a scale of 1 - 5, where 4 and 5 most often mean a ban on the lighting of fires! When there is a ban on fires, all types of open fire are strictly forbidden! This also applies to all prepared fireplaces which have not been approved by the municipal Fire Chief. You may, however, use small camping or primus stoves and charcoal grills.

If you light a fire

How to extinguish the fire

Let the fire burn down completely. Extinguish it properly with water, then poke it so that the embers die out. Dig up the earth under the ashes until there are no signs of glowing embers or smoke left. A small trowel and a container for carrying water are useful items to take along with you.

        If the fire spreads
If possible, alert the fire brigade by phoning 112 if you lose control over the fire. Try to prevent the fire from spreading in the direction of the wind. Use bunches of branches from small pine or juniper trees which can be broken off up to about 1 metre from the top of the tree. These are better than leafy branches. It is best to wet the branches. Do not beat at the fire with large strokes as the sparks will fly around and spread the fire. Sweep burning pieces towards the fire, whilst at the same time pressing the branches against the ground to smother the flames. Throw brushwood and twigs out of the way, and pull up moss in the path of the fire.

                If your clothes catch fire

                Be careful when camping


This symbol denotes the location of fire fighting equipment.

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

    The Public Access  Lighting fires  Canoeing 

© 1996 Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

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Updated: 13th June 1996.