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Handling fire

When handling fire and lighting an open fire, you should pay special attention to keeping the fire under control and anticipate things that might happen. You are always responsible for a fire you have lit. This is why, when choosing the location in which you light an open fire, you should make sure that there is no risk of the fire spreading either to the forest or to buildings.

If you light a fire, you are responsible for it - always! Be careful and make sure you do not cause a fire to break out.Ole huolellinen ja varovainen. Kiinnitä huomiota tulipalon ehkäisemiseen…

Everyone should be careful and cautious to avoid the risk of fire and the damage caused by it. Dry conditions and wind are a particular fire hazard and increase the risk of the fire burning out of control.

What is an open fire?

A campfire is an example of an open fire. An open fire also refers to other similar uses of fire in which the fire may get out of control, either along the ground or as sparks fly from it. You always need the landowner’s permission to light an open fire. Even before you light a fire, always prepare for putting it out.

If you use a disposable barbecue, this is regarded as lighting an open fire

Under the Rescue Act the use of light barbecues and similar, which are placed directly on the ground and which can easily be tipped over by the wind, is regarded as making an open fire.

  • disposable barbecues may not be used when a forest fire warning is in force, or if there is an obvious fire risk for other reasons (location, wind, a base that could catch fire)
  • disposable barbecues may not be used without the landowner's permission

Barbecues isolated from the ground are not regarded as open fires referred to in the Rescue Act. This means brick or stone fireplaces which also prevent sparks from flying out and spreading the fire and similar appliances from which the fire cannot spread along the ground or due to sparking. This includes barbecue shelters protected from the wind and equipped with a hood.

Never light an open fire when a forest fire warning has been issued!

  • when a forest fire warning is in force, lighting open fires is ALWAYS prohibited
  • The Finnish Meteorological Institute issues a forest fire warning to an area with an obvious risk of a forest fire because of dry ground and the weather conditions
  • The Finnish Meteorological Institute ensures that forest fire warnings are communicated as extensively as is appropriate.

You may never light a campfire or any other open fire if there is an obvious risk of a forest, grass or other fire because of the conditions, such as drought, wind or other reasons. Do not light that match!

You ALWAYS need the landowner’s permission to light an open fire.

  • You may not light an open fire without the landowner’s permission – always ask first! 
  • the rescue authorities may prohibit the making of open fires in an area or part of it for a specific period of time if there is an obvious fire risk
  • the rescue authorities may prohibit the making of open fires in their rescue service regions or parts of them for a specific period of time
  • however, this prohibition can usually only be issued concerning open fires
  • information on this decision must be communicated as extensively as is appropriate

The rescue authority may stop activities that cause a direct risk of fire or some other accident


For more information on open fires, contact your

  • local rescue authorities, or
  • the environmental protection authority in your municipality

Read more:

Finnish Meteorological Institute/warnings
Prescribed burning
Hot work