Put away your grill: Prague bans fires in risky areas due to hot and dry weather

While it is up to each region to determine if a ban is required, all of Czechia will soon be under a fire warning from meteorologists.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 07.07.2023 12:39:00 (updated on 08.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

All of Czechia will be under a fire warning through Saturday. Prague and Central Bohemia have issued a ban on making fires in forested areas, parks, gardens, and other designated "risky" places as of noon today as well.

Meteorologists from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) originally said the warning for the western part of the country was valid from noon today. They have now extended the warning to the eastern half of the Czech Republic from Saturday noon until further notice.

"In the coming days, warm weather will prevail without precipitation. The risk of fires will gradually increase throughout the territory of the Czech Republic," ČHMÚ meteorologist Tereza Matušková said. Afternoon highs will exceed the tropical 30s from Saturday, with a high of 35 degrees expected on Monday.

The ČHMÚ’s warning recommends that people not light fires in natural areas, especially in forests, not burn grass, not throw cigarette butts on the ground, and not use portable stoves, grills, and other sources of open fire. People should also manage water sparingly.

The threat of fires is quite real. Last summer, a fire raged for three weeks in the national park in Bohemian Switzerland affecting an area of over 1,000 hectares.

Prague and Central Bohemia ban fires in risky areas

The administrations of municipalities and regions can issue bans on fires. Prague is enacting a ban on fires in risky places starting at noon today and lasting until Monday, July 10, at 8 p.m. covering the entire city area, including private property. The administration of Central Bohemia has issued its ban until further notice.

Risky places are defined as: forest covers and their surroundings up to a distance of 50 meters from their edge; forest parks, parks, gardens, and other vegetation enabling the occurrence and spread of fire; hay, straw warehouses, and their surroundings up to a distance of 50 meters from their edge; the area of agricultural crops which, due to their plant character, are capable of igniting and spreading fire.

The regulation prohibits the following activities during times of increased fire risk:

  • Making or maintaining an open fire, such as burning twigs and bark, or burning flammable substances in the open
  • Smoking, with the exception of electronic cigarettes
  • Use of pyrotechnic products
  • Using other sources of ignition, for example flying paper lanterns, stationary lanterns, or torches
  • Throwing burning or smoldering objects
  • Driving a steam locomotive, if safety measures are not provided to prevent the occurrence of fire
  • Use of water from a source for extinguishing fires for purposes other than extinguishing

There are ways to get an exception to the ban for special events or purposes, but this requires staging the event under the supervision of the local fire department.

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