Forest fire ‘out of control’

     Forest fire ‘out of control’

2 June 2008

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Sweden — Two large forest fires continue to rage in central Sweden, a local fire and rescue service official said on Monday afternoon, adding that the largest blaze was completely out of control.

Around 160 fire fighters were trying to fight one fire, covering an area of about 1,000 hectares located some 350 kilometres north of Stockholm, Lennart Juhlin told AFP.

“It is completely out of control. We have eight helicopters working to put it out and are using bulldozers to cut it off, but nothing has worked so far,” he said.

No people had so far been injured in the fire, raging in a sparsely populated area, and only three homes had so far needed to be evacuated, he added.

The area was extremely dry and the terrain very uneven, Juhlin said, explaining the difficulties facing fire fighters.

“The winds have also been blowing in all directions … Now the wind is blowing in a northwesterly direction. If that continues, it will be a good thing,” he said.

Around 40 fire fighters were meanwhile working to put out a smaller blaze in the same region, covering an area of about 100 hectares.

While that fire had been brought largely under control, Juhlin said it would probably take between three and four days put it out completely.

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