Busy time for rescue crews and firefighters

Latvia's State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) said June 27 that it was kept very busy over the Midsummer holiday period.

From June 22 to the early morning of June 27 at 6.30, the VUGD received 362 calls - 131 for firefighting, including four forest fires, 142 for rescue operations, while 89 calls turned out to be mistakes or hoaxes.

"The VUGD spent its holidays actively. A number of fires in residential homes have been extinguished due to careless handling of the fire. Eight people were injured by fire during these days, while one was killed. Three dead bodies have been recovered from water, and several rescue operations have been carried out in connection with activities on water," the VUGD said.

In total, the VUGD has now lifted 15 dead people from the water during this bathing season.

During the main Līgo night celebrations of June 23, several misleading calls were received. Of 33 total calls, more than half, 17 calls, were related to the fact that residents, seeing the smoke or the reflection of flames from the Midsummer bonfires, feared that a fire had broken out, so they called firefighters. In these cases, upon arriving at the scene, firefighters found that people had lit a traditional bonfire and there was no immediate danger.

VUGD staff members also managed to rescue people who had got lost in the forest in both Babīte and Dunika.

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