Wednesday, May 27, 2015Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One dead, hundreds evacuated as Swedish forest fire rages

Published on Aug 5, 2014 5:07 PM
A helicopter drops its load of water on the wildfire front just outside the evacuated village of Gammelby near Sala, central Sweden, on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - One person has died and hundreds have been evacuated, authorities said on Tuesday, in Sweden's biggest forest fire in modern times as the six-day-old blaze spread across east-central areas of the Nordic country.

Several villages in the Vastmanland region were evacuated on Monday and the County Administrative Board warned the roughly 5,000 inhabitants of Norberg they might have to go shortly too.

It said the fire, declared a matter of national concern, had enveloped a heavily forested area measuring about 15 km by 10 km. Emergency crews were working hard to contain the blaze. "The situation is serious," the board said on its website.

The fire broke out after an unusual spell of hot, dry summer weather in northern Europe.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!