Keep in mind the risk of forest fires and exceptional flag-flying time at Midsummer

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 19.6.2019 13.29 | Published in English on 20.6.2019 at 15.47
Press release 45/2019

Every year, Midsummer bonfires lead to forest fires. Most of the fires are due to poor preparations or carelessness. The Ministry of the Interior urges people to take special precautions when lighting bonfires.

The Ministry of the Interior would like to remind the public that it is now prohibited to light a bonfire at all times when the Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a forest fire or grass fire warning. This amendment to the Rescue Act entered into force on 1 January 2019. In addition, bonfires may not be lit if, because of drought, wind or other reasons, the conditions are such that there is a manifest risk of a forest fire, grass fire or other fire. Regional rescue authorities may also, on reasonable grounds, prohibit the making of open fires in their rescue service regions or parts of them for a specific period of time. Lighting a bonfire on someone else’s land requires permission from the landowner.

Flags fly all night long on Midsummer

Midsummer is also the Day of the Finnish Flag. Flags are to be raised at 18.00 on Midsummer’s Eve and lowered on Midsummer Day at 21.00.

If you have questions about the flag-flying arrangements, you can visit the Ministry of the Interior’s website at The website provides useful information about flying the flag. You can also ask our virtual official, Sulo the chatbot, about the flag.

The flag-flying culture in Finland is very tolerant, meaning you can raise the flag on any day of the year to express joy or emphasise an important event. Whether you want to celebrate the start of the summer holidays, the Finnish sauna or your grandmother’s birthday, feel free to let the flag fly!

Janne Koivukoski
, Deputy Director General for Rescue Services, tel. +358 295 488 420, (forest fires)
Hanne Huvila, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 313, (flag-flying arrangements)

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