Grilling season can start in Prague

The ban on outdoor fires has been lifted after almost two weeks

Outdoor fires are once again allowed in Prague, so people can now do outdoor grilling in accordance with the standard fire and safety laws.

Many parks, urban forests and recreation areas have designated places for grilling or open fires. But these are subject to oversight by the city and the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ).

The city had placed a temporary ban on outdoor fires April 29, due to a warning from the ČHMÚ about dry, windy and hot conditions causing an increased risk of fires getting out of control.

The lifting of the ban does not affect places where fires are normally never permitted. Some parks don't permit fires at any time, and those rules stay in effect. Signs by park entrances should have a list of what is permitted and banned.

Grilling can also take place on private property and in the gardens of pubs and restaurants where it is generally deemed safe.

The city has published a reversal of the ban, valid immediately, on the City Hall website and the city's official electronic bulletin board. The reversal did not add any comments aside from mentioning the relevant laws.

The only comment came over social media. “You can make a fire with your friends this weekend and roast klobasa or sausages. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has called off the ban,” the City Hall website, Praha.eu, said on Facebook.

The ban caused a lot of unhappy people as it covered the annual Witches Night, or Čarodějnice, and bonfires that had been built by many city districts on April 30 could not be lit. Some schools and smaller venues defied the ban, but in a few cases the fire department came and put the fires out when they were notified of them.

Many districts had put months of work into planning the events, and children especially had been looking forward to the symbolic burning of witch effigies. Instead they got a practical lesson in public safety.

Event organizers had hoped for an exception from the ban, but they did not get it. Instead, in the afternoon of April 30 the city posted a clarification that the Witches Night fires were definitely included in the ban. The fine for violating the ban could have been as high as Kč 100,000. 

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