Warnings issued after forest fires break out

Malcolm Curtis
Malcolm Curtis - [email protected] • 23 Jun, 2014 Updated Mon 23 Jun 2014 10:14 CEST
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Dry conditions are sparking concerns about forest fires in several Swiss cantons after blazes broke out over the weekend.

On Sunday, 30 fire fighters put out a fire that destroyed half a hectare of forest in the canton of Jura between Rebévelier and Undervelier, cantonal police said on Monday.

An army helicopter was involved in the effort to douse the flames on a steep hillside.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

On Saturday, a few hectares of forest went up in smoke near Dornach in the canton of Solothurn.

Recent high temperatures above 30 degrees have raised the risk for fires across the country.

Officials in the canton of Jura issued a warning about the risk on Friday, saying the danger rated three on a scale of one to five, indicating “significant danger”.

In the canton of Bern, officials issued similar warnings for several regions, noting an extreme risk of brush fires because of dried out vegetation, the ATS news agency reported.

The danger was high in the south side of the Jura mountains and in the Seeland region, the canton said in a press release.

Recent rain was not sufficient to reduce the risks, the canton said.

The federal office of the environment said there was an elevated risk in regions of the mountain cantons of Valais and Graubünden.

No canton has yet to issue restrictions on activities in forest areas, such as ban on camp fires, but the situation could quickly change.

In the canton Jura, authorities are calling people to act with caution, to avoid throwing cigarette butts on the ground and to ensure that all camp fires are extinguished after use.



Malcolm Curtis 2014/06/23 10:14

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