Sweden Sweden Sweden Sweden

Forest fires Sweden

Vulnerabilities

Forest fire risk in Sweden is limited, compared with other countries. The total annually burnt area of forest has not exceeded 5000 ha since 1950s for most years (2).

Future projections of changes in forest fire risk have been made for northern and southern Sweden, based on a regional climate model and the intermediate A1B climate change scenario. According to these results, northern Sweden is likely to be a fire-resistant region in the future climate (until 2100) where the number of days with high fire risk is found to be lower than today. In contrast, southern Sweden is projected to become a more fire-prone region with an increased number of days with a high fire risk (2).

In northern Sweden, especially autumn is found to become more prone to forest fire. This is mainly due to the increase of temperature and wind speed. For summer, today’s main fire risk season, the projected moister air, increased precipitation and relatively stabilised wind speed balance out the effect of the warmer climate (2).

In southern Sweden, the most fire-prone season in future is likely to be summer, where less precipitation, warmer temperatures and higher wind speeds are projected. Until 2100, the fire risk in summer is projected to increase by 20% as the climate in the distant future becomes drier, warmer and windier (2). 

Adaptation strategies

Most likely, forest fires are set to increase. Preventive measures will become increasingly important. These include both communicating restrictions regarding the lighting of fires and ensuring that these restrictions are complied with. It may also be necessary to refrain from certain forestry measures during extremely dry periods. Fire monitoring is a central task for which resources should be guaranteed in the future as well, as the early discovery of fires is decisive as regards the speed with which they can be put out and the level of resources required (1).

Moreover, Sweden and other countries in Northern Europe should draw benefit from experiences in southern Europe, and develop operational preparedness and capacity by planning, participating in and contributing resources to international co-operation to a greater extent. Collaboration with eastern European countries should also be strengthened, as their climate and forest conditions in many cases resemble those found in Sweden (1).

References

The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Sweden.

  1. Swedish Commission on Climate and Vulnerability (2007)
  2. Yang et al. (2015)
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