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Oslo area hit by two massive forest fires

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Oslo area hit by two massive forest fires
It took an all-out effort from responders to get the fire under control. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix
09:50 CEST+02:00
A fire helicopter and the efforts of firefighters and the Norwegian Civil Defence were able to get two wildfires north of Romsås in Oslo under control on Wednesday afternoon.
Fire broke out in two places at transmission towers in a wooded area north of Romsås in Oslo on Wednesday and the dry forest floor and winds brought the fires dangerously close to area neighbourhoods. 
 
Police asked residents on Romsås, Ammerud and Grorud to keep their windows closed due to heavy smoke and wind in the area, while students at Bjøråsen school at Romsås were evacuated because of the smoke.
 
The first reports of the fire came in shortly before 1pm on Wednesday. For a period, it appeared as if powerful winds from the north could push the flames toward residential areas, but by 3pm police and fire officials announced that they had achieved partial control of the fire.
 
“The fire helicopter has worked hard and got reasonably good control of the fire,” Oslo Police spokesman Svend Bjelland said.
 
Twenty firefighters backed by numerous workers from the Norwegian Civil Defence and seven different vehicles were dispatched to contain the fires.
 
“There were two fires, each nearly 300 square metres in size and they were fairly deep in the woods. It took some time before we could get hoses into the forest and start extinguishing the fire,” Gorm Sjølle from the Oslo Fire Brigade said.
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