Dozens of wildfires rage in Sweden amid Nordic heat wave

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Fire burns in Karbole, Sweden, on July 15, 2018. (AFP)
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Smoke rises after a wildfire swept through the large forest area in Pyh'ranta, Finland, Wednesday July 18, 2018. (AP)
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An aircraft helps to stop the advancing wildfire near to homes, outside Ljusdal, Sweden, Tuesday July 17, 2018. (AP)
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An aerial view of the wildfire outside Ljusdal, Sweden, July 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Dozens of wildfires rage in Sweden amid Nordic heat wave

  • Thousands of people have been warned to remain inside with the windows shut to avoid breathing smoky air

HELSINKI: Sweden says it has mobilized all available resources to put out dozens of wildfires raging across the country.
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency said Wednesday that two Canadair CL-415 water-bombing planes on loan from Italy joined the firefighting efforts that included helicopters from Norway.
Swedish public broadcaster SVT says an estimated 40 wildfires are burning mostly in Sweden, mostly in the central and western parts of the country, but also in the Arctic north.
Thousands of people have been warned to remain inside with the windows shut to avoid breathing smoky air.
The Nordic region of Europe has experienced an intense heat wave in the past week. Temperatures reached over 32 degrees Celsius (90 F) throughout Finland, Norway and Sweden. The weather also has been dry.


Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

Updated 15 October 2018
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Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

  • Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality

NEW DELHI, India: Delhi’s biggest coal power plant was set to shut down Monday as a new emergency plan to improve air quality in one of the world’s most polluted cities came into force, Indian officials said.
Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality in the megacity of some 20 million people.
When the air is classed as “poor,” as it was on Monday, authorities will ban the burning of garbage in landfills as well as fire crackers and certain construction activities.
When the air is “very poor” diesel generators will be halted, parking fees hiked and more public transport provided. “Severe” measures include closing brick kilns.
When it reaches “severe+,” a new category, authorities will stop the entry of trucks except those with essential goods and regulate the number of cars on the road.
The Badarpur thermal plant was due to permanently close on Monday because of its high contribution to pollution in the city.
Smog spikes during winter in Delhi, when air quality often eclipses the World Health Organization’s safe levels.
Cooler air traps pollutants — such as from vehicles, building sites and farmers burning crops in regions outside the Indian capital — close to the ground.
Authorities in the sprawling city attempted to implement similar measures last winter but to little avail.
This is partly because authorities are powerless to prevent some sources of pollution.
“Our aim is to stop the air quality from deteriorating further though certain factors are out of our control such as crop burning, wind speed and lack of public transportation,” environment authority official Bhure Lal said.