Sweden has called for help in fighting forest fires raging across the country and as far north as the Arctic Circle as record temperatures hit Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Italy and Norway have both sent firefighting aircraft to help battle wildfires that have raged in some places for days. The national weather service has issued fire warnings for almost the entire country.

An intense heat dome has swelled over Scandinavia, spurring some of the region's hottest weather ever recorded.

More than 80 wildfires are reportedly burning in Sweden, mostly in the central and western parts of the country, but also in the Arctic north.

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

Smoke rises after a wildfire swept through the large forest area in Pyh'ranta, Finland. Photo / AP
Smoke rises after a wildfire swept through the large forest area in Pyh'ranta, Finland. Photo / AP

Normally, temperatures in Scandinavia during July reach up to 20C. This week, they have soaredto above 30C. Since Monday, several locations have approached or surpassed their highest temperatures observed any day or month of the year. They include:

Central Norway:
● Trondheim Airport hit 32.4C on Monday, an all-time record
● Snasa hit 31,6C on Monday, an all-time record
● Namsos hit 32.4C on Monday, just below its all-time record from 2014

Southern Finland
● Turku hit 33.3C on Tuesday, the highest temperature since 1914 when it reached 35.9C
● Helsinki witnessed one of its hottest two-day periods on record on Sunday and Monday.
Southern Sweden
● Uppsala hit 34.4C on Monday, its highest temperature since 1975.

French meteorologist Etienne Kapikian, who compiled many of these hot weather extremes, tweeted that Tuesday's heat was particularly widespread throughout Finland, where temperatures were at least 30C across much of the country, from south to north.

To the west, Sweden's national weather agency issued a rare heat warning for temperatures forecast to reach at least 30C five days straight in its central region, according to news organisation The Local. It also reported that the high temperatures have likely intensified a "historic wildfire outbreak" afflicting the country.

Firefighter puts water on flames at a home off Fairview Ave., in Goleta, Calif. Photo / AP
Firefighter puts water on flames at a home off Fairview Ave., in Goleta, Calif. Photo / AP

The heat dome responsible for the sweltering temperatures is predicted to only very slowly drift eastward over the next several days.

"The heat is here to stay for a while," said Meteorologist Joonas Koskela, from the Finnish news organisation Yle.

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Scandinavia is the latest region of the Northern Hemisphere to deal with exceptionally hot weather this northern summer. New all-time heat records have been set on every continent, including:

North America
● Multiple locations in California; Denver; Montreal; Mount Washington, New Hampshire and Burlington, Vermont

Europe
● Glasgow, Scotland; Shannon, Ireland; Belfast and Castlederg, Northern Ireland
Eurasia
● Multiple locations in central and east Russia; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Yerevan, Armenia
The Middle East
● Quriyat, Oman, which posted the world's hottest low temperature ever recorded on June 28, 42.6C.
Africa
● Ouargla, Algeria, which may have posted the highest temperature in Algeria and the entire African continent on July 5, 51.3C
Asia
● Taiwan may have posted its highest temperature on record as well as multiple locations in Japan.

- Washington Post, AP