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EU countries send aircraft to Sweden to help fight wildfires

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EU countries send aircraft to Sweden to help fight wildfires
An Italian water-bombing plane in Ljusdal, Sweden. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT
07:34 CEST+02:00
France, Germany and Lithuania are all among the countries that have stepped up to help Sweden, which is battling its worst wildfire season of modern times.

France is sending two Canadair planes to Sweden to help put out the wildfires raging across the country as a result of the current drought, Swedish authorities said on Thursday.

Firefighters are currently battling to put out around 40 fires, particularly in wooded areas, which have broken out during an extreme heatwave across the entire Nordic region.

Given the lack of manpower and capacity needed to tackling such events, the Swedish authorities have asked for EU emergency help to fight the blazes, which have caused no fatalities so far.

After Italy sent two firefighting aircraft and Norway sent eight helicopters, France intends to send two Canadair CL-415 firefighting aircraft and their crew.

Three German helicopters and one Lithuanian plane are also being sent, the Swedish news agency TT reported. Denmark has already deployed an extra crew of firefighters to assist their Swedish colleagues.

Meteorologists have in recent days warned of "extremely hot" temperatures in Sweden.

Temperatures above 33C were reported in Uppsala (the hottest in 71 years), and more than 30 degrees throughout the rest of the country.

Neighbouring Norway was hit by wildfires in 100 locations in the south last week, some of which were triggered by lightning.

To read the latest on the wildfire situation, including evacuations and how to volunteer to help, click here for all The Local's coverage.

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