Massive Swedish forest fire is declared a national emergency, 1 dead, 1000 evacuated
A record breaking forest fire – one of the biggest in modern times – has broken out in central Sweden.
The blaze which covers between 5,000 and 10,000 hectares has been declared a national emergency.
It has been burning for five days.
Helicopters are being used to pluck people trapped by the flames to safety. The 4,500 residents in the town of Norberg may have to be evacuated.
Emergency services say hard winds have been hampering efforts to control the blaze. The fire was described as “out of control” by firefighters.
Article from: euronews.com
One Dead as Sweden’s Forest Fire Rages On
By Anna Molin | The Wall Street Journal
One man appears to have died in Sweden’s largest forest fire in more than 40 years, authorities said Tuesday, as a heat wave across several regions of northern Europe hampers firefighting efforts.
The man in his 30s was found dead on a road north of Stabäck, Västmanland. His body was badly burned, but an identity card that he was carrying matched that of a man reported missing by relatives.
The huge blaze raging in the center of the country was declared a national emergency Monday night and currently engulfs an area of 15,000 hectares northwest of Sala, about 120 kilometers northwest of Stockholm.
Some 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, and preparations have been made for a possible evacuation of Norberg, a town of some 4,500 people, according to information provided by Västmanland authorities.
Read the full article at: online.wsj.com
EU ’swoops in to help’:
The European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is facilitating the urgent provision of assistance to extinguish the forest fires raging in Sweden. Two fire-fighting aircraft, offered by Italy, are on their way to the affected areas.
Last night (3 August) Sweden activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to fight the forest fires in the mid-eastern part of the country. The ERCC immediately alerted the civil protection authorities of the countries participating in the Mechanism. By this morning, three countries offered assistance, and the Italian offer was accepted as most suitable for the needs on the ground. No further assistance is needed at this stage.
“I express my sincere gratitude to the Italian authorities for providing swift support to Sweden in this moment of need. Let us hope that our biggest fear of the blaze spreading to urban areas will not materialize,” said International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. “Forest fires are a risk we tend to associate primarily with Southern Europe, but we are seeing that no country is immune. With risk like this increasing, it makes all the more sense for countries to help each other through the European Union. With the Emergency Response Coordination Centre, we help make sure that mutual assistance gets to where it is needed quickly and efficiently,” the Commissioner added.