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Switzerland imposes open fire ban ahead of national holiday

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By Anastassia Gliadkovskaya  & Alexandra Leistner
Switzerland imposes open fire ban ahead of national holiday

Over a dozen cantons throughout Switzerland have issued bans on fires due to a “very high” fire risk caused by hot weather. Though this was done to ensure public safety, the bans may disappoint Swiss nationals on Wednesday, who were expecting dazzling firework shows that accompany the annual Swiss National Day.

High temperatures are expected to persist all week, according to Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss. Thunderstorms are not expected until Wednesday, but these “will hardly contribute to a significant alleviation of the drought,” the Federal Office for the Environment said in a statement.

Some Swiss have weighed-in on the ban.

"Wild animals and pets suffer extremely from the banging on August 1," wrote user A Keller in the comment section of Swiss TV channel SRF-1. "It has been known for a long time that hedgehogs and nocturnal animals hide in the pyre, unfortunately these are usually no longer examined, the animals burn painfully. At the same time, millions are being forced to pay for the short joy of fireworks."

User Tobi Hartmann wrote: "This is not only good for animals and the environment, but also for us humans. Perhaps we see for the future how completely pointless and unnecessary such a pseudo-tradition is."

Beppie Hermann added: "I am thinking of the fears that wild and domestic animals have to endure when banging, and last but not least, the air pollution and soil pollution. A high price for short joy."

"August 1st stands in Switzerland above all for a cosy get-together with friends and family. The ignition of fireworks and the lighting of mountain fires are an integral part of this..." Zurich resident Bettina B told Euronews. "It creates a very special atmosphere, which we will certainly miss this year due to the ban on fireworks. It would be negligent to risk a large-scale fire in this extreme drought. We can do without it this year," she said.

A comprehensive list of regional bans can be found here.