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Avalanche risk in the north, grass fires in the south

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11:17 CEST+02:00
Sweden is country divided by extremes of weather over the Easter weekend. There is a large risk for avalanches in the north at the same time as grass fires threaten in a dry south.

The splendid spring weather is the reason for the heightened risk of grass fires. Dry grass left from last summer, can easily cause fires to be started as temperatures rise in the south.

According to a forecast from Sweden's main meteorological agency, SMHI, the risk of grass fires extends from Skåne in the far south up to Dalarna and Värmland in central Sweden.

"We have noted that conditions are very dry, but we have not so far received any alarms about grass fires. We are very conscious of the risks now, Mats Fredriksson at the emergency services in Norrköping said to news agency TT on Easter Saturday.

Several reports of fires have already come in over the Easter weekend. Sveriges Radio reported that a large fire had been reported near Torpane outside of Mellerud.

In the county of Västmanland in central Sweden several reports of fires have been called in.

"We have already had a couple of alarms and I fear that these are set to increase over the weekend if people do not exercise caution," Fredrik Eriksson of the Västmanland fire services said to Sveriges Radio.

At the same time as spring weather and warm temperatures cheer the south of Sweden, the Swedish ski lift operators association, SLAO, warns of a heightened avalanche risk in highland areas.

Kittelfjäl in Västerbotten has been served with a grade four warning (of five).

"One should not stray off piste and should instead stay on the marked trails," Hans Gerremo SLAO CEO said to news agency TT.

The risk of avalanches at other Swedish ski destinations are considered to be low to moderate.

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