Forest fires spread in eastern Sweden

Gusting winds are fueling forest fires raging near Lämmetorp outside of Finspång in east central Sweden.

“The fire zone is larger than what it was this morning. We have a few new conflagrations outside the old fire lines. The fire is jumping 50 to 100 metres in the gusts,” said Jan-Erik Heintze, an emergency worker in Finspång, who estimated area wind speeds at close to 90 kilometres per hour.

The fire, which now encompasses nine square kilometres, was discovered around noon on Monday. Fifty fire fighters and National Home Guard soldiers are now fighting the blaze with the help of two helicopters.

Dry ground and hard winds on Tuesday caused a number of other forest fires in Jönköping County in south central Sweden.

A special county-wide command established during the day has recorded 15 separate fires. Several of them have been caused trees being blown down over power lines, which then sparked fires on the dry ground.

No houses have been damaged by the blazes, nor have there been any reports of injuries.

Meanwhile, the fires which have been raging for twelve days outside of Hassela in northern Sweden are now under control.

“It’s raining in northern Hälsingland and that is exactly what’s needed to cool down the embers on the ground which has been dry as a bone for a long time,” said Peter Schönberg from the emergency services in Norrhälsinge.