If you are noticing the scent of smoke in the air, you are not alone: many Easter bonfires were held on Sunday in Germany, as well as a handful across Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland.
Despite calls from local safety authorities to cancel most of the 150 bonfires in the north, several of the fires were still set alight in Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland. In the town of Erica in Drenthe, RTV Drenthe reports that the bonfire got out of hand around 9 p.m. and a nearby holiday village was evacuated until the fire was under control around 1 a.m.
Elsewhere in Drenthe, the bonfire in the town of Drijber had been called off, but the pile was still set ablaze on Sunday night. The fire department intervened and put out the fire because it quickly grew too large. Another bonfire which had been cancelled was also set off earlier in the week in Deurze. Several dozen fires were still set off in the southeastern section of Drenthe near the German border on Sunday.
In Groningen, Dagblad van het Noorden reports that a bonfire in Onnen burned despite being cancelled. RTV Noord writes that the only bonfire which was authorized to move forward in the province of Groningen was in the town of Meeden: organisers said that the bonfire was 640 meters away from the nearest home.
Fochteloo and Esloo in Friesland also proceeded with burning their bonfires on Sunday evening, and the Leeuwarder Courant reports that fires were held in Oldeholtpade, Bakkeveen, Lippenhuizen and Nijeholtpade. Fewer bonfires were cancelled in Friesland than in Groningen and Drenthe, but a burn ban is in effect on the islands of Schiermonnikoog and Ameland.
Even though the vast majority of bonfires planned in Groningen and Drenthe were called off over the weekend, a handful of fires are set to move forward in Drenthe on Monday: Weerdinge, Noord Sleen, Meppen, Erm, Holsloot and Coevorden are planned to be set alight.
Photo source: Jürgen Eissink/Wikipedia