120 Tame Bulgaria's Winter Wild FireEnvironment | November 20, 2011, Sunday // 11:15| views
About 120 Bulgarian firefighters, civil defense workers, employees from the Pirin National Park, mountain rescuers, and volunteers are extinguishing Sunday a rare winter wildfire. Photo by BGNES
Firefighters and civil defense team are attempting Sunday morning to extinguish a wild fire that is raging for the second consecutive day in Bulgaria's Pirin Mountain.
About 120 firefighters, civil defense workers, employees from the Pirin National Park, mountain rescuers, and volunteers are on the spot. They are cleaning vegetation in the area in order to dig a ditch to prevent the further spreading of the blaze.
The forest fire erupted Saturday afternoon in the Pirin Mountain in Southern Bulgaria, above the Demyanitsa mountain cabin, south of the country's most popular winter resort Bansko.
The fire is above the treeline, near the peaks of Kaymakchal and Strazhite, where an area of some 25 acres of grasses and mountain pine shrubs is burning.
The area, at 2,300 m altitude, can be accessed only by foot, air and to an extent by SUVs, which are used Sunday to transport the rescue teams. The route on foot takes about 2.5 hours.
The Bansko Town Hall had formed emergency headquarters with representatives from local police and forest rangers.
The National Fire Rescue Services announced that a helicopter is not needed for the time being, but it is on standby and will be provided by the military commandment. They further assuage fears the blaze can engulf the forest or the cabin. Weather at the location is reported as cold and windy.
The Pirin Mountains are protected by Bulgaria's Pirin National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
As elsewhere, forest fires are usual in Bulgaria for the drier and hotter months of summer and early fall, so the late fall occurrence in Pirin has few precedents.