There are at least 11 major wildfires currently raging in the Artic Circle, and there are even more wildfires burning across Northern Europe. Sweden is one of the countries that been hit the hardest, and the government is scrambling to control the 40 wildfires currently ravaging the central and western parts of the country. This appears to be a trend as more and bigger blazes are reported in other far northern regions like Greenland, Alaska, Siberia and Canada.
The sparks come from a variety of sources- BBQs, cigarettes and increasingly lightning, which is becoming more frequent as the planet warms.
Swedish authorities say the risk of more fires in the days ahead is “extremely high” due to temperatures forecast in excess of 30C (90F). The Nordic region of Europe has experienced an intense heat wave in the past week. Temperatures have remained high throughout Finland, Norway and Sweden. Much of the northern hemisphere has sweltered in unusually hot weather in recent weeks, breaking records from Algeria to California and causing fires from Siberia to Yorkshire.
Two Canadair CL-415 water-bombing planes are on loan from Italy and have joined the firefighting efforts that have also included six fire-fighting helicopters from Norway in response to its neighbor’s request for assistance.
“This is definitely the worst year in recent times for forest fires,” Mike Peacock, a university researcher and a local resident said, according to the publication. “Whilst we get them every year, 2018 is shaping up to be excessive.”