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Rescuers extinguish nearly 50 wildfires over weekend

Fire trucks responding to a blaze (photo taken 2018).
Fire trucks responding to a blaze (photo taken 2018). Source: ERR

Last week, the Estonian Rescue Board responded to and extinguished a total of 49 wildfires across the country.

As a nationwide extreme fire danger period took effect on Saturday, the Rescue Board and the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) kept a closer eye than usual on people's safe behaviours both along bodies of water and in the wilderness last weekend.

Rescuers patrolled public campfire sites as well as popular recreation and swimming areas in their territory that have previously seen issues or that were at greater risk in terms of fire or water safety.

According to Martin Lambing, head of the Rescue Board's Rescue Department, people found with campfires or grilling were asked to cease what they were doing, and in the majority of cases, they peacefully complied.

"We informed people about restrictions in force during a period of extreme fire danger and gave advice regarding what to do during such a period," he added.

Rescuers and law enforcement officers also spoke and shared water safety information with people present at swimming areas, as well as checked for and inspected safety equipment.

Approximately 286 emergency situations were responded to over the weekend, 158 of which were fires and six of which were on the water. 49 of these cases were wildfires, the largest of which was five hectares that burned in the northeastern border town of Narva-Jõesuu on 27 July.

On 28 July, a ten-hectare crop field burned in the Lääne County village of Jalukse.

Over the past weekend, three people drowned and one person died in a fire.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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