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Man fined for breaking southern Sweden's BBQ ban

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Man fined for breaking southern Sweden's BBQ ban
A total fire ban is currently in place in most of southern Sweden. Photo: Henrik Holmberg/TT
13:24 CEST+02:00
A man in southern Sweden will have to cough up thousands of kronor after he was fined for barbecuing in his own garden during the peak of the country's unprecedented heatwave.

A total fire ban is still in place in many parts of Sweden, particularly in the south where the fire risk is currently at an extreme high. This is very rare and means you are not allowed to light a fire anywhere outside, not even in "safe spots" built by authorities or in your own private garden.

So one 42-year-old man’s dinner plans were thwarted when police arrived on his property in Åhus in the southern Skåne region on July 28th, just as he was firing up the charcoal barbecue.

He insisted he had been ill and was not aware of the ban, regional newspaper Norra Skåne reports.

He further argued that the grill, which was covered with a lid, was standing near a pool and close to the kitchen where there was water at hand should a spark cause a fire.

However, he accepted the prosecutor's proposal to fine him 19,500 kronor ($2,187) for breaking Sweden’s Civil Protection Act, so the case did not go to trial.

A total fire ban is currently in place in most of southern Sweden, including Gothenburg. In Stockholm you may as of July 30th light a barbecue in your own backyard, but not in the wild.

If unsure, ask your local municipalities and regions about the current fire status. They will share relevant updates on their own homepages and social media (find a list of pages to check here).

Read more about the heatwave, drought and wildfires in Sweden on The Local here.

SWEDEN FOREST FIRES: How to stay safe in rural Sweden

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