Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sweden's largest forestfire in modern history!

Right now there is a huge forest fire raging in the Swedish province of Västmanland, close to the city of Sala. It has been raging for 5 days now and it still is out of control. It has been classified as the largest forest fire of modern Swedish history and as a matter on national level.
Many have been affected by it, either by being forced to leave their homes or are being about to. Unfortunately there have been casualties too; one dead and one severely injured.
I watched a live-interview of a man, who was about to be evacuated, but could not get himself to leave yet. How miserable must he be, and others like him, to stand there, watching the flames draw nearer, knowing that you can not save your house and possessions and only can wait untill it actually happens...

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved....

source; svt.se
The fire-area is at this moment, tuesday 2014-08-05 14:45 about 10x15km large and it is heading for larger urban areas, like the town of Norberg, which is directly in the line of fire. Literally. As it looks right now more than 4000 people are awaiting evacuation at any moment now. It is spreading at a pace of 2km an hour with no end in sight. We are shrouded in a thick fog of smoke right now and are staying inside with everything closed. It's hard to breath out there...

Some earlier images from social media;

www.sverigesradio.se etc.

Information by the public media is available, but information from official sources is scarce or hard to locate.

Yesterdayafternoon we were treated with some spectaculair cloud- and colourdisplays, as the smoke was blown across the sun. My son compared it to some scenes in the movie "War of the worlds" and I must admit the atmosphere surely did match that; Surreal, apocalyptic and the woodsmoke smell sure did it part to contribute to that.
The day started sunny and with clear skies. In fact so clear that we could not remain at the lake we went swimming in, because it was way to hot in the sun. When we came home however, things started to change quite rapidly. I guess the wind changed at higher altitudes and large plumes of, what turned out to be smoke were blown into our area. It went dark all of a sudden, but we did not smell anything... yet.

I climbed onto the roof of our house to have a clear view over the trees and I was shocked by the view!!
this is 80 km away!

My son, oldest daughter and I headed out to the lakeside  to watch this spectacle in full view and colour, which neither of both can be transmitted through the images.
The sky was red, orange, light and dark grey, yellow, blue and even a bit greenish. It was creepy. A developping thunderstorm within the smokeclouds made it even worse! No rain, just thunder and horizontal lightning and heavy windgusts all the time

This image does come closest to some of the actual colours...
I have never experienced anything like this. None of us have and it does make us feel a bit uneasy, to say the least. In all honesty I have to admit that the whole BOB-thing (Bug Out Bag) start to make sense to me. I always felt that we had nothing to worry about here. A very calm geological and atmospheric place; no earthquakes, risk of flooding or otherwise threatening stuff around and I felt quite safe. Sage enough to not consider a BOB.
This event makes me think twice. I took a closer look at our area and a forest fire, not even of this magnitude, could quite easily reach our doorstep, making an evacuation (bugging out, hence the term BOB) necessary. There's loads of trees and high grass all around us, both right up next to our house.
The necessary mix of circumstances; extreme drought, extreme warmth, high winds and a densy wooded area, are also applicable to our area and all it takes is one spark, one lightning strike or one (careless or deliberate) idiot to create another inferno.

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