Sweden hit by a wave of forest fires

Large parts of Sweden are currently affected by forest fires after an extended period of unusually warm, dry weather.

Sweden hit by a wave of forest fires
Firefighters tackle a fire in northern Gothenburg on Saturday. Photo: Thomas Johansson / TT

According to meteorological agency SMHI, the risk level for fire is “extreme” in large parts of the country. In several areas currently affected by blazes, the local population has been advised to stay inside and close doors, windows, and air vents due to the heavy smoke.

At least 14 different locations across Sweden were affected on Sunday, according to reports in Swedish media.

“We've had very dry weather with very little precipitation recently, and that's the main reason there are several fires now. In some spots in southern Sweden there's been an extreme drought,” SMHI meteorologist Marie Staerk told Dagens Nyheter.

In Hagfors, Värmland in western Sweden, emergency services described an ongoing fire as “not under control, but stable”.

As well as firefighting teams stationed on the ground, three helicopters were fighting the flames from above, including one loaned from Norway. Around 35 homes were evacuated on Sunday evening as a precaution.

On the other side of the country in Oskarshamn on the southeastern coast, a fire had spread quickly on Sunday, reaching an area of around ten hectares. 

And in Småland, 50 firefighters and one helicopter were involved in tackling a fire that had spread to three or four hectares, which was still not completely under control by 10 pm. 

There were also several smaller fires at other locations across the country, including in Överkalix in Sweden's far north, and Örebro where there were fires in the woods and along the railway track. 

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