Large forest fire blazes in central Sweden

Large forest fire blazes in central Sweden

05 June 2018

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SWEDEN – Four helicopters have carried out water bombing in an attempt to extinguish the blaze, and 150 members of the emergency services and armed forces were fighting the fire on Tuesday, as well as volunteers.

They were forced to take a break during the night due to darkness, after the first alarm came at 2.30 pm Monday, but resumed work around sunrise.

“Work is ongoing and the fire is spreading all the time, moving northwest with the wind. It’s pushing that way. The fire is still not under control, and we’re continuing to water-bomb it. But when one part is put out, new embers are caught by the wind,” Mats Kero from the fire service told news agency TT.

Around 25 people were evacuated on Monday as a precaution in Sala, Västmanland, but so far no injuries have been reported. Robin Haglund from Greater Stockholm’s fire department predicted that the fire will continue to burn for several days.

No further evacuations were planned for Tuesday, though some roads in the area remained blocked.

The fire is located the same area that was affected by severe forest fires in 2014. An estimated million kronor of damage was caused by those blazes, but Haglund said that this time emergency services were able to get resources to the site faster.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) issued an official warning of an “extreme risk” of forest fires in many parts of the country in late May, due to recent dry weather.

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