Norway — The Norwegian Forest Owners Federation criticizes the Ministry of Justice and the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning because forest fire preparedness in Norway has deteriorated over time, Nordic Forest Owners Association reported. The reason for the criticism is the extensive forest fires in Southern Norway last summer.
One of these fires destroyed a total of 2,700 hectares of forests. It was the most serious forest fire in Norway in recent times and it took the fire squads two weeks to extinguish it. At the most critical moments as much as 15 fire extinction helicopters were in operation.
The Federation says that this fire ought to have been extinguished much faster, already on the first day. However, final extinction was not adequate. The fire started again and it continued for two weeks before it could be definitively extinguished. The Forest Owners Federation criticizes the management for not realizing how serious the situation really was when the fire started and for not employing sufficient resources at an early stage.
Most municipalities in Norway have established reserve squads for intervening in case of extensive forest fires. The problem is that this system has been “dormant” in several municipalities. The Federation will now make a contribution to the revitalization of these squads so that they can function as intended.