The Swedish Air Force is fighting their homegrown enemy, forest fire, by throwing bombs at it. Sweden dispatched two Gripen fighters to bomb the forest fires, which snuffed out flames with blast waves. The idea sounds weird, however, it works. Scientists have described the effect similar to blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.
A local forest fire was burning in central Sweden for two weeks. The wildfire that burnt near Alvdalen is in a difficult region to reach. The forest fire was near an old firing range littered with unexploded military ordnance and made it hazardous even if the fire crews reached the area. The Swedish Air Force launched a flight of Gripen fighter-bombers, loaded with GBU-49 laser-guided bombs.
The Gripens dropped one bomb at an altitude of 9800 feet. The bomb exploded on the target and extinguished the flames up to 100 yards from the impact point. The sudden change of pressure blows out the fire flame. The same thing happens when you blow out the candles on a birthday cake in which we separate the fire of the candle from the wick. Engineers used the same principle and used explosive charges to extinguish the fire. Swedish Air Force used the latest and greatest precision-guided bombs for the mission.
The 500 pound GBU-49 has a dual seeker setup with both GPS and laser guidance. The pilot plugs in a set of GPS coordinates to target the object on the ground, however, if the enemy has jammed the satellite-based guidance system the pilot can switch to unjammable laser guidance instead. This is not the first time man has bombed nature. In 1935, General George S. Patton bombed Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano to stop a lava eruption. In 2016, the Russian airforce dispatched Su-34 strike jets to bomb river ice and get the river flowing again. China also used H-6 bombers to dislodge river ice before.