European firefighters flock to Sweden to battle wildfires
Firefighters from European countries have offered their help in battling the historic wildfires that officials said are “not possible to extinguish right now”
By FireRescue1 Staff
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Firefighters from several European countries are traveling to Sweden to help battle historic wildfires across the country.
Officials said 27 wildfires were burning as of Monday, according to Business Insider Nordic, four of which were deemed impossible to extinguish due to their size.
“I want to make this clear: the biggest fires will not be possible to extinguish right now,” Civil Contingencies Agency Director-General Dan Eliasson said.
Nine European countries are offering their assistance, bringing helicopters, planes and firefighters to Sweden to help extinguish the flames.
According to the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Center, seven planes, seven helicopters, 60 vehicles and 340 firefighters have been sent to Sweden from Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Denmark, Portugal, Poland and Austria.
A convoy of fire trucks from Poland was greeted by Swedish residents with signs that featured messages such as, “Sweden is burning – thank you for helping, Poland.”
Officials said the wildfire risk is increasing due to a heatwave that is currently engulfing all of Sweden, and a class-two “severe” weather warning has been issued for most of the country.
The wildfires have destroyed around two million cubic meters of forest so far, which is worth around $68 million.
“A forest means more than just money to individual owners,” Danske Bank forestry and agriculture head Johan Freij said. “It’s something you’ve grown and cared for throughout many generations, and having that wiped out can be absolutely devastating.”