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Forest fire rages in Norrland

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10:14 CEST+02:00
A fire tore its way through some 500 hectares of pine forest in Norrbotten, in northern Sweden on Sunday. Four villages near Bodträskfors were evacuated due to smoke.

Some 30 firefighters and a small detachment of army reservists are battling the inferno. The workers labored all day Sunday to create a boundary wall to quarantine the destruction. A forest machine is thought to be the cause of the fire.

“If we can, we will go in and extinguish inside the boundary lines in the north and south,” said Tommy Lindvall, spokesman for the rescue services working in the area. “But right now we are trying to hold the fire within the 900-hectare large area.”

Several helicopters hovered over the scene on Sunday, dropping loads of water on the fire and in the area ahead of the fire.

Lindvall said early on Monday morning that conditions had calmed and that there was no wind to help flare the flames.

He said no buildings were in danger of the flames and that the evacuations were a result of the heavy smoke.

The area is incredibly dry. Lindvall said the region hasn't seen a drop of rain for three weeks.

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