BBC Home
Explore the BBC

CBBC

Pictures

Last Updated: Wednesday April 27 2011 12:39 GMT

Helicopter fire crews battle Switzerland forest fire

A helicopter on its way to drop water onto a forest fire near the town of Viege in southern Switzerland

Fire crews are taking to the skies over Switzerland to help tackle a massive forest fire near the southern town of Viege.

A helicopter dropping water onto a forest fire near the town of Viege in southern Switzerland

Ten helicopters are being used to drop gallons of water onto the flames as hundreds of firefighters continue to tackle the blaze from the ground.

An aerial shot of a forest fire near the town of Viege in southern Switzerland

Police said the fire started after strong winds fanned the flames from a burning vehicle by the side of a road. Hundreds of people in Viege have had to leave their homes for safety.

A helicopter dropping water onto a forest fire near the town of Viege in southern Switzerland

Switzerland is suffering one of its worst droughts in 150 years. That means the land is very dry and a tiny spark can quickly lead to huge fires.

A fireman looks on behind a helicopter loading water to drop on a forest fire near the town of Viege in southern Switzerland

As a result, lighting fires in or near forests in some parts of Switzerland have been banned, to try to prevent further outbreaks.