Sweden's king visits scene of scorched forest

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Sweden's king visits scene of scorched forest

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A massive forest fire which has been burning for a week in central Sweden is said to have stopped spreading but is still not under control.

Thousands of hectares of valuable woodland have already been destroyed and one person has died in what’s been described as a national emergency.

French and Italian firefighting planes are helping to tackle the blaze which has forced over 1,000 people to be evacuated.

Sweden’s King Carl Gustav spoke of the enormity of the disaster:

“This won’t end tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow or perhaps even next week. This will continue for several weeks and unfortunately, for safety reasons, this area may have to be sealed off for six months,” he said.

On Wednesday light winds and some rain helped efforts to extinguish the blaze. Forest fires often break out in Sweden but its the scale of this one that has shocked the country.

The exact cause is unknown but it began after an unusual spell of hot, dry summer weather.