The annual tradition of bonfires across the north during Easter weekend will not be happening at many locations due to a prolonged dry spell in the region.
Translation by Traci White
Due to a dry, sunny and warm forecast for the weekend, regional safety authorities are advising municipalities not to carry out their planned Easter bonfires. The organisation, which has a higher level of authority than the fire department, says that there is a significant risk of causing wildfires, especially because many areas have still not fully recovered from the historic drought last summer.
What are the Easter bonfires?
Easter bonfires across Groningen and Drenthe attract hundreds – if not thousands – of spectators each year. Villages across the region collect wood garden waste for months in advance to contribute to the bonfire. The bonfires themselves can be tens of meters tall, so visitors are encouraged to keep their distance. Easter bonfires are a tradition in Drenthe, Groningen, Overijssel and Gelderland. The fires are lit around sunset on Easter Sunday in Drenthe, and in Groningen, most are lit on Easter Monday. The majority of the bonfires are held in the countryside.
Where are the Easter bonfires?
RTV Noord and RTV Drenthe have created an overview of the spots in the northern provinces where bonfires are planned, several of which have already been cancelled. You can check out the map below to see where exactly fires are planned in the province of Groningen.
In Drenthe, the Easter bonfires have already been called off in the municipalities of Aa and Hunze, Assen, Noordenveld and Tynaarlo. Several other locations are currently evaluating whether or not to move forward with their local events.
Aa and Hunze
Aa and Hunze has cancelled all planned bonfires in the municipality.
In Assen, there are no bonfires planned.
In the municipality of Burger-Odoorn, four for the 11 planned bonfires have been cancelled: Bronnegerveen, Exloo, Odoorn and Valthe.
The municipality of Coevorden will make a final decision on Friday about whether or not to hold its planned bonfire depending on the latest weather forecast.
There are currently 21 Easter bonfires planned in Emmen, five of which are likely to be cancelled: Beekweg in Schoonebeek, Westersebos in Schoonebeek, Weidewaard/Veenhoekweg in Klazienaveen, 1e Kruisdiep in Nieuw-Weerdinge and Roswinkelderstraat in Roswinkel.
The municipality of Hoogeveen had not yet made a definitive decision about its bonfire.
In Meppel, there is one planned bonfire in Nijeveen, but it is unclear whether the fire will be lit or not.
The municipality of Midden-Drenthe is currently in talks with the organisers of the 15 planned bonfires to see about calling them off. The organisation in Hooghalen has already decided not to set its bonfire.
In Westerveld, six organisations have requested an exemption in order to host their bonfires, but the municipality has yet to decide on the matter.
The municipality of De Wolden will decide later this week about whether or not to move forward with its bonfires.