An aircraft helps to stop the advancing wildfire near to homes, outside Ljusdal, Sweden, Tuesday July 17, 2018. This is one of about 80 wildfires reported in Sweden, due to the dry weather. (Maja Suslin / TT via AP)

EU nations help Sweden as wildfires rage above Arctic Circle

July 20, 2018 - 10:11 am

HELSINKI (AP) — Sweden is fighting its most serious wildfires in decades — including blazes above the Arctic Circle — prompting the government to seek help from several other European nations.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Friday his government is working "every minute" to get necessary resources to the hundreds of firefighters and emergency workers fighting some 50 blazes. The fires are mostly in central and western Sweden but also in the north, above the Arctic Circle.

Sweden has received assistance — including water-bombing planes, helicopters and staff — from Italy and Norway. Denmark, Germany, France and Lithuania have also pledged to help.

Temperatures in Sweden and its Nordic neighbors Finland and Sweden have reached over 32 degrees Celsius (90 F) this week, making the region's brush and forests highly flammable.