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Forest fires: 'Everything hinges on the wind'

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Forest fires: 'Everything hinges on the wind'
16:46 CEST+02:00
Fire and rescue officials in northern Sweden believe it will take five more days before the blazes in the region are fully under control.

The forest fires have for the moment been successfully restricted to an area near Hassela in the Hälsingland region.

"We have managed to keep the fire inside the containment lines. We are continuing to water bomb from the helicopters and it's gradually starting to look better," said rescue chief Lennart Juhlin at lunchtime on Tuesday.

But both the Hassela fire and the lesser Skån could flare up again if the winds in the area pick up.

"Everything hinges on the wind and the dryness," said rescue worker Per-Erik Nilsson.

The large Hassela fire is believed to have been caused by sparks emanating a piece of forestry equipment and coming into contact with the bone-dry ground.

There have been no reports of any injuries in the fires.

But for forest products group Holmen, the fires are expected to result in major costs.

"We're not sure yet how much value has gone up in smoke but we are talking in the millions. We don't have any insurance covering the value of the forest and the costs for us the clean-up work.

"It will go down as an unforeseen operational cost," said forest manager Thomas Bouvin.

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