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Sweden in the Middle of its Worst Forest Fires
Posted on 19/07/2018

EnvironmentSweden

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Sweden's rising temperatures and prolonged drought is making it difficult for firefighters to put out the fire.

Record-breaking heatwaves have acted as fuel for the forest fires

Record-breaking heatwaves have acted as fuel for the forest fires
Jeerasak Soonrai/123RF

Sweden has been battling 44 different wildfires across the country for last few days. According to the Swedish authorities, the fires have engulfed more than 2,500 hectares of land and are spreading at 3.8 square miles per minute.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change, the Polar Regions are warming much faster, with an increase in air temperatures over the Arctic by up to five degrees celsius. Heatwaves can be expected to become a common phenomenon in the northern latitudes.

The record-breaking heatwaves have acted as fuel for the forest fires, which have prompted Sweden to ask its neighbors for help to fight the ongoing blazes.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) said on Wednesday, ?Two Italian firefighting aircraft had been sent to assist, while Norway had dispatched six helicopters.? Due to lack of capacity and manpower, Sweden has further asked the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for more firefighting planes in addition to the ones dispatched.

Thomas Aronsson, chief of operations for SITS, a specialist firefighting service based in Sweden, said ?There are 80 fires right now in Sweden, and there is no helicopter company or pilot in all of Sweden that's not involved in fighting these fires.?

Sweden is in the middle of its worst forest fire and is finding it difficult to take control of the situation. There are no casualties reported, but the authorities have asked people living near the affected areas to evacuate to a safer place.