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Sweden's wildfires still serious with heatwave on the horizon

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Sweden's wildfires still serious with heatwave on the horizon
Photos: TT
10:32 CEST+02:00
Even though the fires haven't spread, emergency services are concerned the extreme heat expected to hit Sweden next week could aggravate the situation.
An international brigade of firefighters worked through Saturday night to little avail as wildfires continued to burn their way through large parts of forested Sweden. 
 
"The situation is still serious but hasn't deteriorated significantly compared to Saturday," Britta Ramberg, operational director of Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency, said at a press conference on Sunday.
 
"We've seen a slight stabilisation or improvement of the situation, but there is no reason to be too optimistic."

The news comes just a day after firefighters managed to slash the number of fires raging in the country from 80 down to 44. 

Extinguishing efforts on Saturday were helped by the arrival of rain and storms in some of the affected areas, but the bad weather also brought stronger winds with it, making the blazes more uncontainable. 

The situation in Älvdalen and Ljusdal remained unchanged during the night, Swedish news agency TT reported. 

“There is nothing alarming that stands out,” said Anders Fridborg, emergency services press officer in Ljusdal.

“We have had some rain and we are happy about that”.

“Even in Dalarna county the night has been calm, "added Thomas Carlsson, another emergency rescue worker.

Aerial view of fire in Västernorrland. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

But despite not having to deal with an increase in wildfires, MSB warned on Friday that it is currently "impossible" to extinguish some of the largest blazes, mainly because of the hot, dry weather that has arrived early and the lack of rain that preceded it.

And the forecast for the week to come also gives little hope of improvement.

Temperatures are expected to be between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius in the middle of the week, Swedish meteorological body SMHI has announced.

“We fear we haven’t see the worst, " MSB coordinator Peter Arnevall told TT.

Residents of six areas in Gävleborg, Dalarna, and Jämtland Counties continued to receive emergency alerts and updates from Sweden’s SOS Alarm emergency services on Saturday night.

IN NUMBERS:  The scale of Sweden's wildfires and the efforts to contain them

 


   

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