Additional funding for aerial forest fire detection

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 28.6.2018 9.04
Press release 76/2018
Photo: The Finnish Air Rescue Society

The long warm and dry weather spell in the early part of the summer increased the risk of forest fires dramatically almost throughout the entire country. The cost of this summer's aerial fire detection is already significantly higher than anticipated. The Ministerial Finance Committee supported on 27 June the Ministry of the Interior’s decision to exceed the appropriation allocated in the Budget for aerial fire detection. This makes it possible to conduct aerial fire detection throughout the summer season

Whether or not the threshold for conducting aerial fire detection is reached depends on the forest fire index value determined by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) for each aerial route. One or two flights are conducted on each route daily based on this index value. Two flights each day on most of the 25 routes have been made during the early part of this summer. It is also possible, at the request of the rescue authorities, to make operative flights to detect and gather information on forest fires, as well as to provide aerial guidance and management related to firefighting operations.

The Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland is responsible for organising aerial fire detection and covering the costs incurred throughout the entire country within the framework of the appropriations allocated by the Ministry of the Interior.

The aerial fire detection conducted during the early part of the summer has cost more than EUR 1 million. By comparison, the annual cost incurred was around EUR 260,000 for the previous five years. It is estimated that the cost of aerial fire detection may increase up to EUR 4.1 million in 2018 if the current dry weather continues throughout the summer. In that case, the total amount of appropriations used would be EUR 3.5 million higher than forecast in the 2018 Budget.

Rami Ruuska, Senior Officer for Rescue Services, tel. +358 295 488 424,
Janne Koivukoski, Director General for Rescue Services, tel. +358 295 488 420,


Correction June 29th at 10.12 am. The sentence concerning the Ministerial Finance Committee has been spesified.

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