Above: A convoy of dozens of pieces of fire apparatus from Poland en route to assist Sweden in battling wildfires. Screen grab from the Bella B video below.
(Originally published at 11:37 a.m. MDT July 24, 2018)
The most severe drought in 74 years accompanied by higher than normal temperatures have set the stage for a rash of large wildfires in Sweden. Temperatures are expected to reach 30C (86F) all week which is significantly higher than the more typical 23C (73F). The heat is unprecedented and the country is not prepared for such temperatures.
At least 27 fires are burning across the country, covering 25,000 hectares (61,000 acres).
The government has issued a call for help to deal with the blazes. Many countries in the EU have responded, including Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Denmark, Portugal, Poland, and Austria. In a press release the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Center said 7 fixed wing aircraft, 7 helicopters, 60 vehicles, and 340 firefighting personnel had been offered to Sweden.
Poland sent 45 fire engines which were greeted by cheering Swedes waving Polish flags as the firefighters traveled to Sveg in the central part of the country.