The continuing drought is increasing the risk of wildfires, prompting regional safety boards to ban open fire in all natural areas.
Following a wet spring, the Netherlands has now been without any rain for the last three weeks, greatly increasing the chances of wildfires, exacerbated by strong winds.
Most of the country, except the three northern provinces and the areas around Amsterdam and Rotterdam are now on phase 2 alert. This means the fire brigade has extra equipment at the ready for quick intervention and that barbecues, fire baskets, balloons with lights and campfires are strictly forbidden.
“Wildfires develop very rapidly and unpredictably and that makes them difficult to control,” the safety boards said.
Planned events, if deemed a risk, may also be canceled, local broadcaster RTV Oost reported.
Wildfire broke out in nature reserve Weerter- and Budelerbergen, on the border with Belgium, last weekend while in Heeze, in Noord-Brabant, firefighters found part of a barbecue at the site of a fire. In Assen nature reserve, Paaskamp was hit by fire in May which consumed an area of 100 by 300 metres.