Malin Kyllesjö och hunden.
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Malin Kyllesjö with her dog Ripa in the Kosta f Credit: kyllesjo_hund
Malin Kyllesjö
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Malin Kyllesjö utbildar hundar som hjälp i eftersläckningsarbete. Credit: Kyllesjo_hund

Ember-sniffing dogs help put out fires

3:57 min

Many have been working in Sweden this summer to put out the wildfires that have burned around the country. Among the volunteers are two dogs, especially trained to find embers after the main fire has been put out.

Using their sense of smell, the dogs can locate embers or hotspots several days before they start buring again. Malin Kyllesjö is their trainer. She took her dog Ripa to several fires in Småland in southern Sweden this summer, to get some extra practice.

At one site where a fire had been put out three days before, Ripa found twenty embers in four hours. Firefighters could then drown the hotspots in water, giving them extra assurance that the flames would not flare up again anytime soon.

The whole idea to train dogs to detect embers in the ground came to Malin Kyllesjö last summer. Now six dogs have been trained, and another thirty dogs and handlers are signed up for the course next year.

"We are the first in Sweden to do this, and I have not heard of anyone else doing it abroad," Kyllesjö told Radio Sweden.

The idea is to get a certification process set up for dogs and handlers as specialised ember-sniffing dogs. A wildfire expert and a man who trains service dogs for the military are currently involved in designing such a programme.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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