Wildfires in Central Bulgaria Finally Contained

Wildfires in Central Bulgaria FinallyContained

22 July 2007

published by www.novinite.com

Bulgaria — The wildfires around Bulgaria’s central town of Stara Zagora werefinally contained after four days of incessant battling of the flames, the mayorof the town said on Sunday.

The corralling of the infernos near several villages in the area was madepossible only after a Russian Il-76 plane joined the fire fighting brigades. Theaircraft threw over tons of water north of the village of Kolena, where theflames threatened houses and farming facilities.

Bulgaria’s deputy Prime Minister Emel Etem has already arrived on spot to seethe damages.

No people were injured or burned, but the fires blackened thousands of acres ofwoods in the area. The specialized Il-76 plane will continue to pour down waterover the burning places, while more than 250 fire fighters, civil defenseofficers and military officers are doing their best to stop the flames.

The situation in the opposite side of Stara Zagora is almost normal. The firesthere were extinguished and there is no threat for the people who live there.

Now the danger for the Stara Zagora and the nearby villages’ citizens is thethick fog and the dust that blanketed the area. The check of environmentalinspectors detected disturbingly high levels of sulphur hydrogen and carbonoxide in the air and recommended that citizens refrain from going outside.

Bulgaria’s wildfire preparedness was raised to its highest level Friday, whenmore than 500 wildfires were reported around the country, most of them in thebone-dry area near the city of Stara Zagora, including a rapidly growing blazeon the grounds of the near villages.

The resources the municipality has are being stretched thin already as allavailable firefighters, more than 160 military officials and 18 large fire pumpsare on the spot. Because the Civil Defence department is running out ofresources, all citizens from the neighbouring villages were summoned to help.


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