Police reported that almost 140 buildings, some of them historic trading posts, have been destroyed after fire razed the dry coastal hills of a peninsula in Flatanger, Nord-Trøndelag on Monday night and throughout Tuesday morning. All 32 residents were evacuated as the fire tore northwards from Uran through the villages of Hårstad, Småværet and Hasvåg.
Police put other residents in the area on high alert, telling them to evacuate immediately if the fire changed direction, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). No one has been injured.
The fire broke out at about half past 10 on Monday night near Uran. Police believe strong gusts tangled electricity lines, sparking the blaze.
By midday on Tuesday the strong southeasterly winds had fanned the blaze north to Harståd and west to Småværet, where police estimated half of the buildings burned down. On the peninsula’s northern tip at Hasvåg between 50 and 70 buildings were believed to be destroyed. Hans Petter Haukø from the Flatanger fire department said about seven or eight houses were still standing.
The blaze remained too dangerous for firefighters to access throughout Tuesday morning. There is only one road in to the peninsula, and the risk of crews becoming trapped was too high. The fire burned onwards over mountains and islands, while crews concentrated on building containment lines to stop the blaze burning inland from the peninsula.
Only one of four helicopters brought in to battle the blaze was operating on Tuesday morning. Strong winds made it impossible for the others to join in the effort. Five more water-bombing helicopters had set out from Rygge, Bardufoss and Sauda, said the Norwegian Airforce. Rescue boat Harald V fought the fire from the ocean, and water cannon-equipped Coast Guard vessel KV Bergen was en route to reach Flatanger by Tuesday evening.
Power and mobile phone reception is down in the area. The emergency information numbers operated by Flatanger municipality are 74 22 11 00 and 74 22 11 44.