French soldiers arrive in Sweden to fight wildfires

STOCKHOLM: Dozens of French soldiers specialised in firefighting arrived in Sweden early today to tackle blazes raging across the country during an extreme heatwave.

Firefighters yesterday were battling around 50 wildfires after an unprecedented drought in the region and soaring temperatures, which have reached the hightest in a century.

The 30 French soldiers from a Civil Defence unit landed shortly after midnight today in Stockholm, an AFP correspondent said. They will be joined by another 30 firefighters from the south of France today.

France has already sent two Canadair planes to Sweden after authorities asked for EU emergency help to fight the blazes, which have caused no fatalities so far.

Italy has sent two firefighting aircraft and Norway sent eight helicopters. Germany and Poland also responded to the request for assistance.

Record temperatures above 33 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) were reported in Uppsala, a city north of Stockholm.

There has been…

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