Sweden asks for more EU water bombers to combat wildfires

Sweden has asked the EU to send more water-bombing planes to fight the number of wildfires that continue to rage across the country.

Sweden asks for more EU water bombers to combat wildfires
A wildfire in Ljusdal. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Two Italian planes are on Wednesday due to begin their aerial firefighting efforts after arriving in the Nordic nation, but Sweden's Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has requested more planes as well as helicopters to help extinguish the number of fires still not under control.

“The focus right now is on firefighting flights and we will see how we can use them in the best and most effective way during the day. We are following up with a request for more helicopters and water-bombing planes, and will see if there is the possibility of other countries providing support,” Britta Ramberg from MSB told news agency TT.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Sweden's historic wildfire outbreak

MSB has also started to call staff back from their vacations (many Swedes take most of July off) in order to help. Almost 40 fires still burned across the country on Wednesday morning, with the worst affected areas Gävleborg, Dalarna and Jämtland, and according to Sweden's emergency control centre SOS Alarm, more fires are expected to occur throughout the day.

In Härjedalen, Jämtland, around 60 buildings have been evacuated according to Sveriges radio. Evacuations have also occurred or are taking place in parts of Gävleborg and Dalarna.

A particularly bad fire is burning in the Fågelsjö-Lillåsen area of Jämtland, spread over 2,500 hectares and increasing at a rate of 10 square metres per minute.

Along with the two Italian water-bombing planes assisting Sweden for eight days, eight helicopters from Norway are taking part in the firefighting efforts.

READ ALSO: Italian water bombers to help Sweden fight fires

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