French soldiers arrive in Sweden to fight wildfires
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Dozens of French soldiers specialized in firefighting arrived in Sweden early Monday to tackle blazes raging across the country during an extreme heatwave.
Firefighters on Sunday, July 22, were battling around 50 wildfires after an unprecedented drought in the region and soaring temperatures, which have reached the highest in a century.
The 30 French soldiers from a Civil Defense unit landed shortly after midnight on Monday in Stockholm, an AFP correspondent said. They will be joined by another 30 firefighters from the south of France on Monday.
France has already sent two Canadair planes to Sweden after authorities asked for EU emergency help to fight the blazes, which have caused no fatalities so far.
Italy has sent two firefighting aircraft and Norway sent 8 helicopters. Germany and Poland also responded to the request for assistance.
Record temperatures above 33 degrees Celsius were reported in Uppsala, a city north of Stockholm.
There has been practically no rain since the beginning of May in the country, aside from a paltry 13 millimeters that fell in mid-June.
Denmark, southern Norway and northern Finland are also experiencing a period of extreme heat which, according to weather forecasts, is unlikely to end soon. – Rappler.com