Interesting facts 

The Fire Devil raged several times in the Aletsch Area

At noon on 23rd August 1859, some of the woodworkers burnt straw near the Steinschlag, a place on the Riederhorn west side, which had served them as a deposit in their tents. Out of carelessness they did not entirely put out the fire, and it continued to smoulder. The 26th August at ten o'clock in the morning, the fire sparked off in bright flames and grasped the forest up to the Riederhorn ridge. "The mighty fire waves whipped up terrifically and magnificently from the narrow and deep valley." This is how Moritz Tscheinen described this forest fire. The heat was so high, that not only the rootstocks, but also the earth burned down to the bare rock.

Again, in the late evening of the 24th May 1944, a forest fire sparked off on the Stockflüe. The fire brigades of the neighbouring villages of Ried and Mörel, who came running in the same night, were powerless with their wooden vats (Brenten) containing 40 litters of water, and had to request help from outside. Firemen from the surrounding municipalities and soldiers of a mountain brigade stationed in Brig helped them daily. Stirred up by strong winds and the heat drift, the fire spread rapidly, and the flames ascended at 60 m per minute up to the Riederhorn ridge. On the southern and northern fire fronts, over 50 meters wide forest aisle were cut out, so that the fire could not spread. The Aletsch forest reservation was particularly vulnerable. At its border, the aisle had to be widened on 29th May considerably, with further 278 trees being sacrificed. A total of ten smaller and larger engine-powered fire pumps were used to control the fire. These were connected with 6 km of hose lines. The water was taken from the surrounding ponds, which contained  ample water due to the snow melting, as well as the reservoir of the Hotel Riederfurka. The small rainfall, which began shortly before, and later the heavy rains, eventually warded off the risk of a renewed flare-up of the fire. The forest fires destroyed about 65 hectares of mountain forest within a very short time. The fire lane went from 1400 up to 2200 m. Totally 1.500 trees died, three-quarters of which were stone pines. The cause of the fire has never been fully clarified.