Several teams of Italian volunteers with two-fire-fighting aircraft have joined efforts to put out a forest fire raging in southern Switzerland.
In a short Twitter message on Tuesday, the Swiss embassy in Rome expressed thanks for the Italian contribution which it said was part of cross-border cooperation. The Italian effort includes bringing two Canadair aircraft. These large fire-fighting planes can fly low, notably into the valley, to extinguish flames above the village of Indemini, where houses have not yet been touched by the fire.
The fire has been raging since Sunday morning on Monte Gambarogno, near Lake Maggiore in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino which borders Italy. Several dozen people have been evacuated from their homes, but no injuries have been reported.
Swiss authorities have already been fighting the flames from the air with six helicopters, including two Super Pumas of the Swiss Air Force, the Ticino authorities said on Monday. Further reinforcements were being sent, according to the Swiss public broadcaster RSI on Tuesday.
The flames are raging across an area of more than six hectares, according to Ticino authorities who estimated that firefighters would need several more days to contain the blaze.
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