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Sweden accepts Finland’s offer to help douse wildfires

On Thursday the Finnish government decided to offer assistance to Sweden, which has been grappling with a spate of forest fires across parts of the country.

Sammutushelikopteri taltutti sunnuntaina metsäpaloa lähellä Bräcken kuntaa Pohjois-Ruotsissa.
Aerial firefighters at work in Grötingen, central Sweden. Image: Robert Henriksson / EPA
Yle News,
Denise Wall

Sweden has accepted an offer from Finland to provide assistance quelling a spate of wildfires threatening parts of the country.

Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen confirmed the response from Finland’s western neighbour on Twitter on Friday morning.

A group of firemen will therefore head out to Sweden to help with firefighting duties by Saturday. Interior Ministry rescue operations chief inspector Rami Ruuska previously speculated that Finnish firefighters would be needed to provide relief for their Swedish counterparts.

The decision by Finland to extend an offer of assistance to its western neighbour came on Thursday. At the time, Ruuska said that Finland would be able to send firefighting gear such as fire tenders, container trucks, motorised extinguishers and all-terrain vehicles.

A rescue team comprising about 35 firefighters is prepped to go to Sweden, but will have to fend for itself, including organising its own accommodation, ministry officials said on Thursday.

So far the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre has led efforts to assist with the blazes in Sweden by mobilising support from Denmark, Norway, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, France and Italy.

Finland had previously said it was unable to respond to a prior request for assistance from Sweden.

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