Dry weather prompts Stockholm fire ban

The Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade has announced the introduction of a ban on open fires in the areas in and around the Swedish capital following a spell of warmer weather which has left the ground extremely dry.

“The reason for the ban is the weather situation and that the ground is very dry,” according to a fire brigade statement.

The ban applies to all public spaces in the region with the exception of “prepared barbecue stations” which are defined as “a concrete fireplace” or a “fireplace made from cemented bricks”.

Furthermore barbecues are allowed only if caution is exercised and there is access to a water supply to extinguish the fire.

The authority warns that disposable or one-time grills are not considered “prepared barbecue stations”.

The ban applies to the entire greater Stockholm area including outlying areas such as Lindingö and Danderyd and is based on the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute’s (SMHI) fire risk forecast.

According to the SMHI forecast, the risk is set to remain high for the foreseeable future and the Stockholm Fire Brigade confirmed in their statement that the fires ban is in place “until further notice”.

Private gardens are exempt from the ban on the provision that extreme caution is undertaken.

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Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

Large areas of Sweden saw extreme levels of rain over the weekend, with the city of Linköping receiving more than 100mm of rain in 24 hours, twice as it usually receives in the whole of August. 

Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

According to Swedish weather forecaster SMHI, the Linköping-Malmslätt area received 96mm between Saturday night at 8am on Sunday morning. The area normally received between 60mm and 70mm in August as a whole. 

“There was such an absurd amount of rain that the data was at first rejected by our system,” Therese Fougman, a meteorologist at the forecaster, told Sweden’s TT newswire. “It is continuing to rain during the day, and it is lying in a band over Östergötland, Sörmland och further up towards Uppland, predicting there would be a further 40mm to 50mm in the next 12 hours. 

The downpours have led to flooding in several areas, and caused traffic problem with cars at risk of aquaplaning on roads such as the E18, which were covered in a thick layer of water. 

Lennart Ågren, who was the duty leader of rescue services in Östra Götaland, told TT on Sunday afternoon that rescuers had been called out to several floods in Linköping and Mantorp. 

“There were streets under water, and water was running into properties so we had to throw all our resources at it for several hours,” he said. 

In Jönköping, rescue services were called out to flooding at a school and in other places, while in Växjö, lightening hit close to the place where a student party was being held at the local university campus. 

In Linköping, rescue services told TT that they had been called out 30 times. “We’ve been stretched but have managed to handle it,” said Pedher Helmer, who was in charge of rescue services in Östergötland over the weekend. 

The heavy rain is expected to move to Blekinge, Skåne, Öland and Gotland over the coming days, with a risk for flooding.