Wildfire Ravages Bulgarian Mountain For Sixth Day

Wildfire Ravages Bulgarian Mountain For Sixth Day

06 July 2012

published by www.balkaninsight.com

Bulgaria – As the wildfire on Vitosha Mountain near Sofia rages on, eco-activists have blamed government inaction for delays in putting it out.

Efforts to extinguishing a wildfire that has engulfed the Bistrishko Branishte natural reserve in the Vitosha Mountain near the Bulgarian capital entered a sixth day on Friday.

About 200 decares of forest and other vegetation have already been badly burned.

On Thursday, the Interior Ministry said that the fire was under control, but 80 people stayed overnight in the area of the reserve to monitor the situation.

Elimination of some local outbreaks of fire was renewed on Friday morning. Helicopters will be used again in the battle with the blaze.

Fire rescue services have already warned that separate outbreaks could fester in the mountain area for at least a week.

Hundreds of firemen and volunteers took part in the effort to put out the fire, working round-the-clock in a hard-to-access area.

Meanwhile, eco-activists and volonteers have accused the Bulgarian authorities of reacting inadequately at the very onset of the Vitosha wildfire.

“It turns out there were enough volunteers but there was nobody to organize them in squads. Volunteers need to be trained and have equipment,” Andrey Kovachev, co-chair of the Bulgarian Green Party, said.

He added that only 5 per cent of the forests in Bulgaria have adequate protection against large-scale fires.

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