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Troops battle Swiss forest fire

Troops have joined around 300 firefighters battling strong headwinds and dry conditions to extinguish a huge forest fire in southern Switzerland.

Firefighters aided by helicopters struggled to contain the blaze last night after it broke out at a car repair shop on the outskirts of Visp and quickly advanced on forestland in the Swiss state of Valais.

The exact cause of the fire remained unknown. Authorities warned residents to remain inside their homes.

Lack of snowfall and an unusually mild spring have contributed to low lake levels and dry tinder in the forests of many areas of Switzerland.

Strong winds pushed the flames fast up the nearby mountainsides, blocking the main road to Visp, about 20 miles from popular ski area Zermatt and the famed Matterhorn.

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From Belfast Telegraph