Sweden faces 'extreme' fire risk in coming days

July 23, 2018
Dozens of forest fires are still raging, and the risk of more is 'extreme', authorities say

Sweden is facing an "extreme" risk of more wildfires in coming days because of hot and dry weather, authorities warned Monday, as dozens of fires raged across the Scandinavian country.

The civil protection agency MSB counted 27 active fires across Sweden on Monday, half the previous day's number.

At least four of the fires had not been brought under control, MSB said, and were stacked against firefighters.

Sweden is experiencing an unprecedented drought and soaring temperatures which have reached the highest in a century.

"The risk is extreme" in the southern part of Sweden, where temperatures were expected to reach 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) in coming days, with no rain likely, MSB head of operations Britta Ramberg told a news conference.

Ramberg said anybody lighting fires or barbecues would face prosecution.

Sweden, where usual summer temperatures are closer to 23 Celsius, is under-equipped to deal with this kind of crisis and has been getting help from Italy, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Poland and France.

There has been practically no rain since the beginning of May in the Nordic country, aside from a paltry 13 millimetres in mid-June.

Denmark, southern Norway and northern Finland are also experiencing a period of which, according to weather forecasts, is unlikely to end soon.

Explore further: French soldiers arrive in Sweden to fight wildfires

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