PM determined to improve Sweden's preparedness for extreme weather
21 Jul 2018, 01:12
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced on Friday that Sweden's preparedness and civil defence for extreme weather conditions needs to be strengthened, the Swedish Television SVT reports.
"I am determined to strengthen Sweden's preparedness and to continue improving civil defence," Lofven said.
The prime minister's statement was announced on Friday as out of control forest fires have raged in Sweden for almost a week. All in all, forest fires are now burning in 61 locations across the country. Four of the fires are too big to be extinguished, and some fires that have already been put out start burning again.
"This might last till the winter comes," says a firefighter to SVT.
Sweden has received help from several countries in form of helicopters, airplanes and fire fighters. At least Norway, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Lithuania have offered a helping hand. Municipalities have also asked civilians to help, and hundreds of volunteers from all over the country have signed up.
The forest fire's damage is expected to exceed that of the catastrophic forest fire in Sweden in 2014. Then, 13,800-hectare forest burned, and one person was killed with several injured.
In this year's there has been no known fatalities, but several hundreds of houses have been evacuated and locals are guided how to prepare an escape backpack for emergency situations.