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Danish firefighters head home from Sweden with valuable experience

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Danish firefighters head home from Sweden with valuable experience
Swedish wildfires seen from a military aircraft on July 25th. Photo: 10500 Mats Nyström/Försvarsmakten/TT
13:41 CEST+02:00
Firefighters from Denmark are now returning home after assisting colleagues in Sweden fighting devastating wildfires.

The Danish responders say they have gained valuable experience from the operation, with units from Denmark having been in Sweden since July 19th.

“These were wildfires on a scale we cannot imagine in Denmark. There are terrain differences over distances of 100 metres that make it impossible to use old-fashioned techniques to supply water,” Peter Kaas-Claesson, operation leader with the Beredsskabsstyrelsen fire service, said.

“A lot of force is needed to move water 100 metres uphill. What we are taking from this is how to establish and maintain limitation lines at major wildfires,” Kaas-Claesson continued.

The fire service will now evaluate its part in the Swedish operation.

After initially sending support on July 19th, Danish firefighters’ participation was extended on a number of occasions, with replacement teams sent from Denmark.

Around 200 Danish firefighters in total have been deployed in Sweden – the biggest international operation in recent history, according to Beredsskabsstyrelsen.

Over 80 wildfires raged in Sweden at the same time at one point during July, and not all were under control. Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven declared ‘extraordinary’ circumstances in the country as a result of the drought, and firefighters from several European countries were called to assist.

The situation has now improved significantly, according to Kaas-Claesson.

“It has rained a lot in the area. It was straightforward pouring rain, and that has a great effect on the fires, including those that were burning underground,” he said.

READ ALSO: Danish military flies 60 firefighters to Sweden

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