Fight against forest fire continues in Sweden

Some of the flames have abated. ( Petra Levinson/Sveriges Radio)
Some of the flames have abated. ( Petra Levinson/Sveriges Radio)
The helicopters went back in the air early Thursday morning to continue fighting the forest fire that began last Thursday, and two of the four water-bombing planes took off later in the morning.

Sweden’s largest fire in modern history started last Thursday in Västmanland county and has given emergency teams a very difficult task.

Two more water-bombing planes are set to take to the air later Thursday morning.

In 1995 the Swedish Rescue Services Agency, after two years of testing, recommended purchasing a water-bombing plane, the same kind as being borrowed from France and Italy now, saying that without it there could be difficulties fighting fires in the future. But the Defense Department said no, even though the 1995 report said purchasing the plane would save up to 80 percent of damage from a big fire like the one Sweden is experiencing now.

The focus now is about battling the fire in the northeast section of the fire, to keep it from spreading.

Helicopters and  water bombers are being deployed to fight forest fires in central Sweden. (Petra Levinson/Sveriges Radio)
Helicopters and water bombers are being deployed to fight forest fires in central Sweden. (Petra Levinson/Sveriges Radio)

The fire did not spread overnight past the border that had been established Wednesday.

In many places open flames have been put out, the fires can start up again if the winds increase.

However, head of the emergency response, Lars-Göran Uddholm, told Swedish Radio News that the worst thing that could happen is that the weather helps the fire rekindle. He stressed that the fire is still not under control.

Emergency officials are hoping to get an overview Thursday of how much damage the fire has done so far and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt visited the fire area Thursday afternoon.

There are still around 1,000 people evacuated.

The condition was worsened for the man who was badly burnt in the fire on Monday. His condition is serious and his injuries are again considered life-threatening. The other man died on Monday that was in the same logging truck.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Worst forest fire season in decades in Canada`s Northwest Territories, Radio Canada International

Finland: Smoke from Russian fires detected in Finland, Yle News

Sweden: Forest fire rages on in central Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States:  Wildfires could threaten Arctic caribou herd’s winter habitat, Alaska Dispatch

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