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Caution urged over fires as Sweden heats up

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Caution urged over fires as Sweden heats up
10:34 CEST+02:00
With forecasts indicating a continued bout of warm, dry weather in much of Sweden, authorities have urged caution following reports of a number of grass fires over the Easter weekend.

In most cases the fires were put out before the fire brigade arrived on the scene and no injuries were reported, but fire services across the country have urged the general public to be on their watch to prevent forest fires.

There were reports of a number of fires on Sunday as temperatures approached 20 degrees Celsius in central and southern areas of the country.

In Västra Götaland in western Sweden, the fire department responded to and extinguished fires in Orust Munkedal and Hova. Similar cases were reported in Södermanland in eastern Sweden - in Vals Berga and Helgarö.

The authorities have warned that the risk of such fires is high in almost the entire country as forecasts indicate that the warm, dry weather is set to persist throughout the week.

The highland areas and coasts along southern Sweden are reported to be at low risk of fires.

After a long, cold winter with bumper amounts of snow, Swedes are being urged to show caution when rushing out into the sunshine to enjoy barbecues and campfires.

Insurance firms are among those warning of the heightened risk as sunshine hours extend and rainfall remains limited.

“It is important that you have full control over the fire and that you are able to extinguish it if necessary. It is dangerous to burn grass because it can spread very easily even burn down buildings," said Jan Larsson, injury prevention officer at insurance firm Länsförsäkringar Jämtland, in a statement.

Larsson added there is a huge potential financial cost of not managing fires responsibly.

Each year Jämtland County alone spends over 500,000 kronor ($81,745) on injuries caused by grass fires as well as putting extra strain on local fire brigades.

According to the latest weather forecast from the Swedish Meteorological Institute (SMHI) southern and central parts of Sweden will be dominated by sunny weather for most of the week.

Temperatures in Malmö are expected to top 20 degrees Celsius on Tuesday with Stockholm enjoying 15-20 degrees Celsius all week, while northern areas can expect some rain and cooler temperatures.

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