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Wildfires in Sweden Signal Europe’s Climate Disaster Is Growing

Insurance claims linked to global warming are set to surpass $15 billion this year as events like tornadoes in Italy become routine

Fire burns in Karbole, Sweden, in July.  Due to the dry weather, 80 wildfires burned in Sweden.
Photographer: Mats Andersson/AFP/Getty Images

Hannele Arvonen, the owner of one of Sweden’s largest lumber yards, is spending the winter months planning for a new and unexpected threat to her business: regular wildfires raging just south of the Arctic Circle.

Her business, Setra Group AB, had a tense summer as firefighters fought back fires raging through Sweden's densely-forested Gaevleborg region during a drought that lasted months. Workers there are still painstakingly trying to recover sellable wood from the charred remains of tree stumps.