95 of Bulgaria's Top Firemen Help Russia Tame Forest Blaze

Diplomacy | August 6, 2010, Friday // 16:25|  views

Tourists wear masks to avoid breathing the smog caused by peat and forest fires that has engulfed Moscow while in the background the Kremlin, one of Russia's most famous landmarks, is barely visible. Photo by EPA/ BGNES

Russia is forming an international task force to assist in fighting the wildfires that have been ravaging the country for days now, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations informs.

Yuriy Brazhnikov, a Ministry spokesperson, announced Friday that the land and air force group includes a unit of Bulgarian firemen.

“About 100 of Bulgaria’s best fire fighters with top of the line equipment are already in place,” Brazhnikov says, cited by the Russian information agency RIA Novosti.

Meanwhile, the Bulgarian information agency BGNES, reported that on the order of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, a team of 95 people is leaving for Moscow Friday evening. They include firemen and 3 doctors.

The order has been issued after a phone call between Borisov and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Brazhnikov further points out international support is growing with Germany being the first country to offer help, and will involve mainly high-end technology. Other countries joining in include Poland, France, the US, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Italy.

It was reported earlier that Moscow airports have diverted flights because of the dense smoke and the low visibility, caused by the devastating forest fires. President Dmitry Medvedev has declared a state of emergency in the Moscow region and several other Russian regions after wildfires caused the death of at least 50 people and left thousands more homeless.

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Tags: Moscow, Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, wildfires, fire, smoke, airports, Bulgarian firemen


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