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Signs of spring: Record high (so far), grass fires, flood warning

The warmest springtime temperature of the year so far is 14.1 degrees Celsius, and fires are popping up around the country.

Ruohikkopalo
Numerous grass fires have kept the emergency services busy. Image: Maksym Dragunov / AOP

Warmer weather brought familiar springtime phenomena over the weekend, as emergency services have had their hands full with wildfires of varying intensity.

The threat of grass fires is greatest in Uusimaa and Finland Proper, said Yle meteorologist Matti Huutonen.

Firefighters put out several fires on Saturday. One in Kirkkonummi in southern Finland started after a controlled bonfire of dry sticks spread into the surrounding terrain, burning up a hectare of land. In another case a garbage fire spread in Salo in the southwest, burning some 300 square metres across an open field.

Other regions where flames broke out included Kustavi in the west, Kouvola in the southeast, Nurmijärvi some 37 kilometres north of Helsinki and Uusikaupunki, Parainen, Turku and Kaarina, all in the southwest.

The mercury was also up in the southwestern city of Rauma, where a meteorological measuring station clocked 14.1 degrees Celsius, the hottest day of the year so far.

As ice and snow melts, rising water levels are also beginning to trouble flood-prone areas. A flood warning is in effect for the Ostrobothnia region in western Finland.

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