Main road reopens as fire comes under control

Smoke and flames billow from the fire above Visp overnight Keystone

A large forest fire above Visp in southern Switzerland appeared to be under control on Wednesday morning, and the main road has been reopened to heavy goods traffic.

This content was published on April 27, 2011 - 14:44 and agencies

Several dozen trucks had been unable to drive through to Brig on Tuesday, because the alternative route for private cars was not strong enough to bear their weight.

Their drivers had been forced to spend the night in emergency parking areas just west of Visp.

Private cars were still having to use the detour on Wednesday morning.


A spokesman for the Valais cantonal police said efforts by the firefighters had kept the flames from spreading. Two army helicopters were deployed during the night to keep the blaze in check, on Wednesday morning six helicopters were still pouring water wherever they saw smoke.

The wind, which fanned the flames on Tuesday, had died down by Wednesday morning. However, 120 troops are on standby to support the firefighters should conditions worsen again.

The spokesman said the local population was not in danger and that so far, no one had been injured.

Switzerland is suffering under the impact of weeks of low rainfall, despite light showers in western parts of the country at the weekend.

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