Forest Fire Blazes For Fifth Day In Sweden

The largest forest fire in Sweden's modern history is raging through thousands of hectares in the mid-eastern part of the country.

Emergency services are trying to control the flames that have already engulfed more 5,000 hectares of forest land.

The fire that broke out on Thursday in Sala, Västmanland, is feared to burn for several weeks or even months, reports say.

On Sunday night, Sweden activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to fight the forest fires.

The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is facilitating the urgent provision of assistance to extinguish the forest fires. Two fire-fighting aircraft, offered by Italy, are on their way to the affected areas.

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, expressed hope that "our biggest fear of the blaze spreading to urban areas will not materialise."

Several regions in Northern Europe are currently facing heat waves which pose forest fire risks.

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