One of the numerous wildfires in Sweden happens to be in a military practice range that contains unexploded shells. Firefighters can’t enter the area so the Armed Forces decided that the best way to stop the fire was to drop bombs on it.
Below is an excerpt from an article at www.thelocal.se:
At noon on Wednesday the Armed Forces dispatched two Jas 39 Gripen fighter jets to drop a bomb on the flames as a last resort, with the hope that the pressure from the blast would help contain the blaze.
“The oxygen from the fire can be removed with the help of a bomb and in this case it was possible to try it, because the fire is at a firing range,” said fire and rescue team leader Johan Szymanski in a statement.
“Our preliminary assessment right now is that this had a good effect.”
The bomb, model GBU-49 according to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, was dropped from 3,000 metres reaching speeds of 550 km/h before hitting its target with metre precision.
It managed to extinguish fires up to 100 metres from the target, according to initial reports.
If you look carefully at the video below you will see the bomb leaving the fighter jet. And then in the distance as the bomb hits the ground, a growing plume of dust or smoke.
The Swedes are not the first to come up with the idea of using bombs to stop a fire. In 2010 we wrote about Bazalt, a Russian manufacturer of aircraft bombs, that designed one intended to put out a forest fire. It can detonate either on the ground or above it, dispensing a liquid over 1,000 square meters, about 1/4 acre. Bazalt says one aircraft could carry up to 100 of these fire extinguisher bombs.
And in 2014 an Australian researcher experimented with explosives in New Mexico, hoping the result would be a directional blast that could put out a forest fire, or at least a portion of one.