Serbia–– BELGRADE: Thousands of people were evacuated from the town of Cacak in southwestern Serbia on Saturday because of raging forest fires.
Police report that dozens of hectares have been engulfed by fire. Several houses have been destroyed in the villages of Miokovici and Gornja-Gorevnica, according to Itra-tass news agency.
The situation is extremely serious. The flame is threatening two populated localities, Predrag Maric, the head of the emergencies division at the Serbian Ministry for Emergency Situations, told journalists on Saturday.
We have to redeploy firefighters and equipment to Cacak from all over Serbia, Maric went on to say. The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations has sent a Be-200? amphibious plane to Serbia. It arrived in Cacak on Saturday. The Be-200? aircraft can drop up to 12 tons of water on burning forests in one go. It will stay in Serbia until September 15 alongside with a Ka-32 anti-fire helicopter of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations.
The aircraft are deployed in the city of Nis under an inter-governmental agreement between Russia and Serbia on joint reaction to emergency situations, prevention and liquidation of the aftermaths of natural disasters and man-made accidents. A joint humanitarian center opened in the city of Nis in spring 2012 in pursuit of these goals.