Swedish court clears Stora Enso over largest wildfire in decades

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish district court on Monday acquitted Finnish paper firm Stora Enso of responsibility for causing Sweden’s largest wildfire in 40 years, instead fining a subcontractor.

The district court of the Vastmanland region, where the wildfire occurred, said no criminal liability could be placed on Stora Enso, only on the subcontractor, a small forestry company.

The wildfire, which was declared a national emergency and forced over 1,000 people to evacuate their homes, had begun during ground works carried out by the contractor, the court said in a statement.

The subcontractor was fined 2.5 million Swedish crowns ($260,000).

One person was killed when the wildfire ravaged an area totaling 14,000 hectares in the central Vastmanland region in 2014.

Stora Enso is one of the largest global pulp, paper and packaging board makers with roughly 26,000 employees in over 300 countries.

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; editing by Niklas Pollard