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Efforts to battle Swedish wildfire hampered by undetonated explosives
July 16 (UPI) — Swedish officials said a wildfire neared an ammunition practice area Monday where undetonated shells are likely present, hampering efforts to tame the blaze.
Twenty firefighters and several helicopters dropped water on the blaze burning in western Sweden’s Alvdalen forest since Friday, The Local reported. The target practice location delayed efforts.
“At [12:30 a.m.] , we became aware that the area is a so-called target area for artillery, which may mean that there is coarse caliber unconstructed ammunition in the area. This meant that the staff immediately cleared the area at a risk distance of 600 meters,” the Mora Fire Department posted on its Facebook page.
The wildfires were located in several areas northwest of the capital of Stockholm, with Ljusdal and Alvdalen, roughly 205 miles from Stockholm, being among the hardest-hit areas.
Firefighters were working with Swedish armed forces to put out the fire and neighbor Norway has pitched in with six helicopters.
A lack of summer rain and hot weather has made the forest dry, contributing to the outbreak.
Officials evacuated some residences in Ragunda and Angra until the fires are controlled.