2014 Västmanland wildfire

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2014 Västmanland wildfire
LocationVästmanland, Sweden
Date(s)31 July 2014 (2014-07-31)-11 August 2014 (2014-08-11)
Burned area15,000 hectares (37,000 acres)
  • 1 civilians
Non-fatal injuries
  • 1 civilians
  • 9 firefighters
2014 Västmanland wildfire is located in Västmanland
2014 Västmanland wildfire
NASA Earth Observatory photo. August 4, 2014.

The 2014 Västmanland wildfire was a wildfire that broke out on the afternoon of 31 July 2014 on the border between Sala Municipality and Surahammar Municipality in Västmanland, Sweden.[1] It is Sweden's largest wildfire in 40 years.[2] After an EU appeal, Italy and France provided firefighting aircraft.[3]

On 4 August 2014, the evacuation of residents began in Gammelby alongside Route 668 east of Lake Virsbo, Västervåla and Ängelsberg.[4] As of 5 August 2014, over one thousand people were forced to evacuate their homes, and the town of Norberg, with about 4500 residents, was being considered for evacuation. One person was confirmed killed by the fire, a man in his 30s who was reported missing. His badly burned body was found near Stabäck, Västmanland. The fire was declared a national emergency. It encompassed over 15,000 hectares and was located northwest of Sala.[2] The Swedish Armed Forces were mobilized, with about 100 personnel providing support to the firefighters as of 7 August.[4]

It was reported that nine volunteers were surrounded by fire and had to be rescued by professional firefighters on 5 August. Because of this, volunteer firefighting help from the public was no longer accepted. Firefighters found a 42-year-old man in the forest who was badly burned but still alive. The police reported that he was taken directly to a hospital for treatment.[2]

The wildfire threatened the UNESCO World Heritage Site Engelsberg Ironworks. The owners of the Ironworks, Nordstjernan, rented two helicopters of their own to water the area close to the site.[5]

The Swedish police started a preliminary investigation of the cause of the fire, to see if it was caused by criminal negligence. According to local media, a driver of a ground-preparation vehicle stated that the fire started in his vehicle and that no fire watch was posted despite a very high risk of fire.[6] Although the 2014 Swedish heat wave did not cause the fire, the exceptionally hot and dry conditions of the summer of 2014 enabled the fire to spread and intensify.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Engström, Julia (31 July 2014). "Skogsbrand på kalhygge". Sala Allehanda (in Swedish). Virsbo. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Molin, Anna (5 August 2014). "One Dead as Sweden's Forest Fire Rages On / About 1,000 People Have Been Evacuated From Their Homes". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Five day fires out of control". The Local. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Skogsbranden" (in Swedish). Länsstyrelsen Västmanland. Archived from the original on 2014-08-12. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  5. ^ Schönstedt, Tommy (5 August 2014). "Världsarvet hotas nu av jättebranden". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  6. ^ Segerstedt, Rolf (7 August 2014). "Polisen utreder eventuellt brott för skogsbranden" (in Swedish). Lantbruk.com. Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  7. ^ Molin, Anna (6 August 2014). "Europe News: Sweden Battles Against Deadly Wildfire". The Wall Street Journal. ProQuest 1551253951.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°54′N 16°09′E / 59.90°N 16.15°E / 59.90; 16.15

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