Switzerland: The intensity of the forest fire may increase due to the winds

BITCH, Switzerland (Reuters) – Swiss firefighters were battling a blaze on Tuesday that forced the evacuation of more than 200 people in Bitsch, near the Italian border, as windy conditions could fuel the blaze, officials said. Was. The officials announced this. It will take several days or weeks to extinguish completely.

The fire broke out on Monday in a wooded part of a mountain in Bitsch, a town in the canton of Valais, and helicopters flew over the area all night to douse the flames.

Mario Schaller, in charge of operations, said it would take several days or even weeks to extinguish the 100-hectare forest fire.

“No one has been injured so far, no buildings have been damaged,” he said.

Officials announced that the fire began to reduce in intensity on Tuesday, despite large clouds of smoke, but that winds could cause the fire to spread further.

Adrien Bellwald, spokesman for the cantonal police, said, “Fortunately, the wind has subsided (…) The situation is calm now, but with the wind it could change.”

The Federal Environment Bureau has warned that wildfires may become more frequent, especially in the summer, due to climate change causing hotter and drier weather.

Regional police announced that an investigation had been launched to determine the origin of the fire.

(Reporting by Denis Balibous; French edition by Zifan Liu, Editing by Kate Entringer)

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