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Weekend rain could help contain Swedish wildfires

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Weekend rain could help contain Swedish wildfires
A dry Swedish summer has created the conditions for wildfires. Photo: Martina Holmberg/TT
07:39 CEST+02:00
Forecasters in Sweden predict that rain will finally arrive at the weekend as the county continues to battle wildfires against the backdrop of a lengthy heatwave.

As of Thursday, 21 wildfires were still burning in the country, and national forecaster SMHI predicts several of the areas could get some help from rain in the coming days.

"On Saturday there will be unstable weather in the form of rain in southern and central Sweden. On Sunday the forecast shows that there will be more rain showers. Locally, there will be a good amount of rainfall in the middle of the day in Svealand and southern Norrland, with around 10-15 millimetres in six hours. That's a lot. But I know a lot is needed at once, so there won't be enough rain to put out fires, but it’s a contributing factor to them not spreading," SMHI meteorologist Ibrahim Al-Mausawe told news agency TT.

WATCH: Swedish fighter jet drops bombs on forest fires

The worst affected areas in Dalarna and southern-central Norrland could also see showers ahead of Monday. SMHI says the forecast for the weekend has now been the same for a couple of days and can therefore be considered relatively certain.

But the meteorologist still has warnings for extremely high temperatures in place, and the extreme risk of fire also continues, with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) calling for a ban on barbecues across the country.

"Due to the extreme fire risk that exists in most parts of the country, MSB urges the relevant municipalities and county councils to tighten the already existing fire band to include all places, including privately owned gardens," MSB wrote on its website.

READ ALSO: Sweden moves to tighten fire rules

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