Winter wildfires in the Arctic
While the US has had a winter characterized by recurring bouts with the Polar Vortex, Norway has been suffering through a winter that is both one of the warmest on record, and one of the driest. Last month, the country experienced two massive wildfires. One of those was the Flatanger fire, which you can see part of in the video here. It was the largest fire in Norway since World War II.
Just a month ago, no one would have said there was a threat of brushfires in Trøndelag at this time of year,” noted Dagfinn Kalheim, director of the Norwegian fire prevention association. Now, they’ve experienced three of their worst fires on record during winter.
Western Norway has been in the midst of an ongoing drought since late fall. The drought, spurred by a ridge in the polar Jet Stream has steered storms away from the usually wet Norway and slammed them over and over into the British Isles, France and Spain. The drought left mountain scrub and thawing tundra in the region very dry and vulnerable to fire.