18. July 2023

Forest fire near Bitsch: Fire-fighting flights throughout the night

The forest fire above Bitsch spread explosively on Monday evening. Because of the impassable and steep terrain, the fire brigade is relying on helicopters to fight the fire. The Valais helicopter companies Air Zermatt and Air-Glaciers have been fighting the forest fire since it broke out. On Tuesday, several large helicopters will reinforce the fire-fighting efforts.

During the night, one twin-engine helicopter each from Air Zermatt and Air-Glaciers fought the flames of the fierce forest fire above Bitsch. For safety reasons, no other helicopters were used during the night. The darkness, the smoke and the precise dropping of fire-fighting water on the sources of the fire pose a great challenge for the pilots at night and require the utmost concentration. A Swiss Army Super Puma was on standby during the night.

On Tuesday, the fire-fighting efforts will be reinforced by additional helicopters. In addition to the helicopters of Air Zermatt, three large helicopters such as K-Max or Super Pumas of the army will also be used. It is the highest priority that the fire will not spread any further towards Riederalp.

It is expected that the extinguishing work will continue for several days.


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