Fireworks set off blazes in Switzerland

On the eve of Swiss National Day the River Rhine is lit up on Sunday in canton Basel City, where fireworks are allowed, unlike in nearby cantons Basel Country, Aargau, Solothurn and Jura. However, cantonal police advised against private displays. © Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

Several fires broke out in Sion, southwest Switzerland, on Sunday following the launching of pyrotechnic devices, despite these being banned. The fire services quickly put out the flames, while the police arrested suspects. No one was injured.

This content was published on August 1, 2022 - 12:53

The police in canton Valais were informed at 10.20pm of several fires in meadows near the entrances to the A9 motorway to the east of Sion.

According to initial reports, one of the young people arrested, a 22-year-old from the Valais region, was carrying several fireworks, some of which are banned in Switzerland. He will be reported to the public prosecutor, the cantonal police said on Monday.

Another 21-year-old local will be reported for negligent arson and for failing to comply with the general ban on fires and fireworks throughout the canton. In the event of a conviction, this person will have to pay the costs of the fire service’s intervention.

August 1 is Swiss National Day, but after weeks of heat and drought across Europe this year’s celebrations in Switzerland have been marked by the fear of fire. As a result, many cantons and municipalities have issued bans or restrictions on fireworks, barbecues and outdoor fires near or in forests.

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