The burned trunks of trees are seen after a major forest fire in Angra, Ljusdal municipality, Sweden, Sunday July 22, 2018. Sweden is fighting its most serious wildfires in decades — including blazes above the Arctic Circle — prompting the government to seek help from the military, hundreds of volunteers and other European nations. (Mats Andersson/TT News Agency via AP)

Sweden says wildfires remain serious threat

July 23, 2018 - 7:11 am

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish officials say the country's wildfires remain a serious situation, with the continuing hot and extremely dry weather making firefighting efforts very hard despite broad international help.

Britta Ramberg, operative director of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, which is coordinating firefighting efforts, said Monday said that the risk of new blazes is now particularly high in southern Sweden. No deaths or injuries have been reported so far.

Dozens of French soldiers arrived early Monday to help international firefighting crews battling some 50 wildfires raging since last week, mostly in central and western Sweden but some also in the Arctic north.

France, Italy and Norway have dispatched water-bombing planes, helicopters and staff. Germany, Lithuania and Portugal have also pledged assistance, while Poland sent 139 firefighters and 44 fire trucks.

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