Dry spell continues: bush and forest fires dot Switzerland

Dry spell continues: bush and forest fires dot Switzerland

26 April 2011

published by www.genevalunch.com

Switzerland — A dozen bush fires have been sparked in canton Vaud in the past week, mostly started by negligence, from cigarette butts and cooking fires not put out properly, police warn.

The canton has had a ban since 15 April on lighting fires closer than 10 metres from forests, woods, hedges, grasslands and reedbeds. Small amounts of rain fell over the weekend in some areas, but the largest amount recorded was only 10 cm, far short of what is needed to end the record April dry spell.

Cantons Graubuenden and Ticino both had sizeable forest fires in the past few days, reports TSR, with 2,000m2 burning under a ski lift in the commune of Celerina and 3,000m2 burning in the area of Maggia, in Ticino.

In the first case a discarded cigarette butt is suspected of causing the fire that took several hours to put out, using three helicopters, with 60 firefighters involved.

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