Forest fires

A forest fire can start in a number of different ways. It could be due to deliberate burning in the forest, lightning strikes, sparks from trains, or logging. Prolonged drought means the risk increases significantly.
Photo: Pavel Koubek/MSB

In the summer of 2018, Sweden suffered several simultaneous major forest fires. In some areas, residents had to be evacuated due to the fires.

Fire bans

Municipalities ("kommuner") and county administrative boards ("länsstyrelser") may issue fire bans. A fire ban means that you can’t use naked flames outdoors. The specific details of the ban may differ depending on the fire hazard level. In some cases, barbecuing will also be banned. Information about fire bans can usually be found on the official websites of your local municipality ("kommunen") or county administrative board ("länsstyrelsen"). Information about lighting fires in Sweden by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency ("Naturvårdsverket"). 

Important Public Announcement (IPA)

In the event of a forest fire that constitutes an immediate threat to life, health, property, or the environment, the head of the rescue operations may warn the public by issuing an Important Public Announcement (IPA). Read more about Important Public Announcements here.

Be prepared

  • If you are uncertain about the fire hazard, contact rescue services in your municipality for up-to-date information.
  • Information about fire bans is usually available on the official website for your municipality or county administrative board.  
  • Important Public Announcements (IPA) are broadcast on Sveriges Radio, SVT (Sveriges Television) and posted at the website Krisinformation.se.

After a forest fire

Walking in the forest after a forest fire can be extremely hazardous. There may be a risk of falling trees, and there may be pits with embers of peat or wood. After a fire, it can take months for the forest to become safe for walking again.

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