Tuesday 10 December 2019

New Year beach bonfires may be no higher than 10 metres, The Hague mayor says

The Scheveningen and Duindorp bonfires before they were lit. Photo: Laurens van Putten /HH

This year’s New Year bonfires at the beaches of Scheveningen and Duindorp may be no bigger than 10 metres by 10 metres by 10 metres, acting mayor Johan Remkes has said, on the basis of fire brigade advice.

‘It is this, or nothing,’ Remkes said at his first meeting of The Hague’s city council on Thursday.

Last year’s fires were 45 metres and 48 metres tall, and the Scheveningen fire sent huge clouds of cinders into the seaside town, causing people to run for cover and causing major damage to buildings and cars.

A damning report by the Dutch safety board at the beginning of this month led mayor Pauline Krikke to resign. She was slammed for failing to act when she knew the fire broke the rules.

Remkes is due to meet the two foundations which organise the bonfire building contests on Friday. The Duindorp team have already applied for a permit to build a fire this year, but the Scheveningen team have not, Remkes said.

Scheveningen and the nearby district Duindorp have had a competition to build the highest bonfire since the early 1990s.

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