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Study: Sweden is not prepared for the large forest fires

On Wednesday handed over the special investigator, Jan-Åke Björklund, former regional director in the Western Region, statsdirektör in Västerås as well as federal director of the Swedish association of local authorities, the 300 pages long Skogsbrandutredningen to the government and the interior minister Mikael Damberg.

a number of people in the different functions of the society and the authorities, and also people from other countries to find out what was good and what did not work during the summer's major forest fires around the country.

– Even if it was good, we must make the conclusion that Sweden is not sufficiently equipped for us to be able to be safe for future big forest fires. We need to do something about, " says Jan-Åke Björklund.

the Investigator Jan-Åke Björklund. Photo: Naina Helen Jåma/TT

the Investigation points to a number of shortcomings at different levels, both in terms of preparedness, and how the work worked.

– Here are many shortcomings. Many were too late and cautious in the beginning, both the emergency responders and authorities. It was poorly practiced and trained. You several congressmen are not society's resources enough. It was too late to request helikopterhjälp, " he says and continues:

– The main shortcoming was the municipalities that are not part of a system.

He mentions Ljusdal as an example where the most burned 9,000 hectares.

in Total, it was about 7.000 different fires during the summer heat wave.

forest fire in Kårböle, 22 June 2018. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

left in the summer of Räddningstjänstutredningen to the minister of justice Morgan Johansson. He said to the DN during the summer, ongoing fires to conditions would have been better if the proposals from the investigation already in place, something he repeated Wednesday.

Among other things, proposed that each emergency service must be able to show how to manage small and larger events. Another suggestion is that you should be able to hire others, who are not city employees. A third proposal concerns material which is to be more equal across the country, and finally create clear structures in which all municipalities shall be connected to a larger system.

The new investigation lands also in 27 points with recommendations to increase preparedness for future fires, for example, how to deal with brandriskprognoser and better education and training of the emergency services.

Both after and during the fires showed a number of shortcomings. DN reviewed during the summer of the MSB's internal reports, which showed problems with staffing, a lack of forest-fire experts, and the lack of hoses. In addition, problems arose with the communication system Rakel, something the emergency services in the Region assessed as a security risk.

the Investigation must be sent on the referral the next week, according to the interior minister Mikael Damberg.

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