Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sweden is burning!

Älvdalen earlier
source; dt.se
Months of heat and above all drought have caused serious problems in the country I now call home. The most acute one are forestfires. They blossom up all over the country and firefighters and associated personel are being kept real busy nationwide. Many are relatively small fires and are under control or put out fairly rapidly, but right now there are 3 major fires (that I follow) raging in the region of central Sweden, in the provinces of Dalarna, Gävleborg and Jämtland.
Our province, Dalarna, has seen its share of fires, but our area has been spared so far, luckily, apart from a minor one, some 7 km to our north, which was taken care of quickly and effectively.
I can only hope that this situation will maintain that way, but looking at the weather forecast I can only see very high temperatures (for our area), blazing sun and even some rising wind. Firefighting crews and material are being worn down and out, so I do fear the problems are not over just yet.

Situation 2018-07-17
source; dt.se
Thankfully Sweden was able to hire waterdropping helicopters and planes from Norway and Italy, but these can not remain operational idefinitely either. Personally I feel that it is madness that a country with such large wooded areas does not have such equipment of its own, especially after the disastrous events in 2014, where both lack of heavy equipment and blundering local and national authorities allowed for a massive area being laid to waste.

But once again authorities are not stepping up adequately and decisively. Our own municipally has no information on its website whatsoever, a lot of confusion and unclearity in regard to firebans is plaging communications and the national government is nowhere to be seen or heard. I feel that if there was a time for them to act, it would be now. An absolute and nationwide ban on all sorts of open fire should be declared. This is a national issue right now and it would with one stroke remove any and all uncertainties. But that is just my opinion.
What equally pisses me off is that there are still people out there, who simply disregard warnings and danger. People still bring out their barbecues, put them on the grass or near vegetation and happily grill away, thinking a bucket of water will take care of any events. Similar within the outdoor community, where folks still insist on the use of portable means of fire, like gascookers and such, claiming they know what they do, that it still is allowed and that they apparantly MUST have the coffee or lunch made on the spot.

Meanwhile current meteorological conditions are causing massive other problems too. The farmers are getting into trouble. Not only do I fear a complete disaster for many or most crops, but especially those with livestock are in trouble. The first cut of grass for winterfodder yielded less than 50% in many places and a second cut simply will not happen. The grass does not grow.
In and around our village every conceivable piece of grassland has been cut and harvested, some for the first or second time since we moved here 6 years ago, apart for a large field, which appears to be publically owned. I also read reports of farmers already having to slaughter their livestock, because there is no food for the animals, which will have longterm ramifications for the farmers and Sweden's homegrown foodsupply. Here too is the absence of governmentaction painfully obvious and any helpinitiatives come from private sources for as far as I know.
People growing their own fruit and vegetables at home or gather that in the woods, also see their crops go to waste,  if there even are any. Plants wither or fail to fruit. Foodprices will soar coming winter, I'm sure.

Either way I will volunteer to help as soon as my wife's car comes back from the workshop. It broke down a 2,5hr drive away from home last weekend and I will not leave them stranded at home, in a wooded area, when current risks are still so high. Because of the distance to the current hotsports (painfully literally) it is not an option to just drive back in an instant in case of an emergency. And such an emergency can pop up at any one time.

Stay safe out there!

1 comment:

  1. California is burning, too! For example, there's a huge fire that is approaching Yosemite and spoiling our air quality. We, ourselves, are safe unless some stupid person makes a mistake. We have a big defensible space zone around our place and really good well and lots of hoses strategically placed.

    I've been thinking about you because of what you've said in the past blogs about government collapse. It seems to be coming true in this country and I'm starting to get REALLY worried.

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