Hot spell causes forest fires

Sweden’s fire season is here. Several fires had emergency response units scrambling on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings fighting fires believed to be caused by the recent hot, dry weather.

Some 15 firemen were working on Wednesday morning to put out a forest fire at a nature reserve northwest of Jönköping.

The fire began on Tuesday and has already burned 30 hectares of woods. Some 50 firefighters from nine fire corps battled the blaze yesterday with the aid of a helicopter that dropped buckets of water.

“The fire was contained, but during the night it spread several times,” said Gunnar Hansson, spokesman for Jönköping’s emergency services.

Sparks have been blown by the wind and lit several new areas, but firefighters have the fire under control.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but is believed to have started in several areas.

Other fires burned in the north of the country.

“It has been around 30 degrees centigrade for three days,” said Kurt Svensson, spokesman for emergency services responding to the fires that burned in Jämtland and Härjedalen. “Now we are hoping the wind will mean rain is on the way.”

Svensson said the fire had burned several hectares of forest there, despite having two helicopters dumping water on the area. The fire is believed to have been started by a machine working in the woods. The fire was still blazing as of Tuesday evening.

A second fire in the north was ignited by a spark from a train. Train traffic stopped in the area while firefighters rushed to put it out.

Emergency services are warning the risk of fire throughout Norrland, as well as other areas around the country.