About 300 firefighters and the Swiss army battled a forest fire in southern Switzerland near the town called Viege, Tuesday. Dry conditions from the worst drought the country has seen in over a hundred years and strong winds made the job very difficult. Firefighters used nine helicopters to fight the enormous flames blazing through the treetops. The forest fire began in the late afternoon from a burning vehicle near an auto repair shop outside of Visp. Nearby resident were evacuated in case the fire spread to the village. The auto shop was completely destroyed.
The fire was finally under control Wednesday with soldiers, police, and firefighters working all night.So far the fire has destroyed over 247 acres of forest. The extremely warm spring and the drought have scientists worried about what will happen to the Swiss forest in the future. In 2008, a report was releases by the Swiss Academy of Sciences on the impacts of the climate change—warmer weather,and it’s effects on the forest and vegetation. The Swiss Academy of Sciences say the greenhouse gases, warmer climate have already begun to affect the forests. More fires are predicted to occur in the future. With about one-third f Switzerland being forested, the impact of future fires is huge. The Jura mountains and central plateau have already been damaged by the excessive heat and drought in the area.In the years to come, who knows what Switzerland make look like after all the extreme climate changes, scorching heat waves, and forest fires happening at a rapid rate.
Since the fire has been controlled, the main road that leads to Zermatt and Matterhorn from Visp has been opened.