The effects of one of the largest forest fires in Kårböle.
The effects of one of the largest forest fires in Kårböle in Gävleborg.. Credit: Pernilla Wahlman/TT

72 million to three counties worst afffected by summer wildfires

2:03 min

Three hundred large forest fires scorching 21,000 hectares of land but this summer's intense heatwave triggered fewer fires than expected, said a report by the Swedish Forest Agency (Skogsstyrelsen) on Tuesday.

The government authority recommended SEK 72 million in support should be paid to Dalarna, Gävleborg and Jämtland, the three counties where 85 percent of forest fires occurred.

It said the financial support should be split between the 323 forestry owners who face the increased costs of felling and transporting fire damaged trees and other areas such as road and border repairs.

"The summer fires put pressure on the forestry sector and also caused personal tragedies. We estimate that the support we are proposing will have a mitigating effect and at the same time will stimulate moves to remove the wood from the forest quickly before a mass influx of harmful insects can destroy the timber," said Herman Sundqvist, Director General of the Forestry Agency to Sveriges Radio.

The government gave the agency the task of investigating the extent of the damage caused by the prolonged summer heatwave which sparked numerous major wildfires across the country. It found that 21,000 hectares of commerical forests were destroyed compared to the 25,000 the government had forecast.

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