Forest fire risk results in bans on barbecues and fireworks

The authorities are trying to avoid situations like this: a forest fire in canton Ticino, southern Switzerland, last year Keystone / Pablo Gianinazzi

A heatwave and lack of rain have created a high risk of forest fires across Switzerland. Many cantons have therefore imposed bans on fires, barbecues and fireworks ahead of Swiss National Day on August 1.

This content was published on July 28, 2022 - 10:27

The “danger map” of the Federal Office for the Environment is strikingly red, with the highest level found in eight municipalities in canton Valais. The second-highest level applies to most of the rest of the country.

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The environment office has accordingly introduced various measuresExternal link to minimise the risk of fires. These include total bans on outdoor fires in southern cantons and bans on fires in and near forests in most other cantons. Many cantons have also forbidden the setting off of private fireworks.

If a fire does occur, the office says the principle “Alert – Rescue – Extinguish” applies. “Fires outdoors develop and behave differently from fires in enclosed spaces. So do not try to be a hero; follow the instructions of the local fire service and forestry workers,” it advisesExternal link. Forest fires should be reported immediately by calling 118 (the fire service).

If a fire is burning, don’t take any risks but try to rescue people and animals, it continues. “Use blankets or coats to wrap around people whose clothes are burning (roll them on the ground and cool with water).”

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

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