Sweden needs more resources, skills to fight wildfires

Sweden needs more resources, skills to fight wildfires
FILE - In this Thursday July 26, 2018 file photo, a wildfire smolders at Alvdalen field in Sarna, central Sweden. Sweden's civil protection agency says the country needs more water-dropping capacity to fight serious wildfires like the ones last year and improve cooperation between the rescue services. Agency head Dan Eliasson says Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 the path ahead is "to get us the skills and ability" to use water-dropping planes before the summer. (Maja Suslin/TT via AP, file)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s civil protection agency says the country needs more water-dropping resources to fight serious wildfires like the ones last year and improve cooperation between the rescue services.

Agency head Dan Eliasson says the path ahead is “to get us the skills and ability” to use water-dropping planes before the summer.

Eliasson said Tuesday the report into last year’s wildfires also concluded a “need to increase the number of training places for emergency services personnel.”

Sweden received assistance, including water-dropping aircraft and staff, from several European countries to fight about 50 blazes, across the country and above the Arctic Circle. An estimated 25,000 hectares (more than 60,000 acres) of land was burned.

The Scandinavian region saw temperatures over 32 C (90 F) over the summer.