Monday 22 July 2019

Drought and warm weather leads to more Easter bonfire bans

An Easter bonfire in Espelo. Photo: Jürgen Eissink via Wikimedia Commons

Almost half the 120 traditional Easter bonfires planned for the holiday weekend in Overijssel province have been banned because the long drought and warm weather has increased the risk of the fires spreading.

Enschedé, Dalfsen and Hardenberg have banned fires in several villages and in other places the celebrations have been adapted to take the risk into account, broadcaster RTV Oost said.

The annual competition between the villages of Espelo and Dijkerhoek to build the biggest fire has also been scrapped, the broadcaster said.

Local officials gave the fires the green light, on the condition they contain no more than 500 cubic metres of wood. This would allow a fire of just eight metres high, well below the usual height of 20 metres.

Dozens of fires have also been banned in parts of Gelderland, broadcaster RTV Gelderland said.

The habit of building massive outdoor bonfires for Easter is particularly popular in Gelderland and Overijssel.

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