Bulgarian Wildfire Advancing towards Sofia, Greens Claim

Environment | July 4, 2012, Wednesday // 15:21|  views

The Vitosha Mountain wildfire near Sofia's suburb of Bistritsa has been raging since July 1, 2012. Photo by BGNES

The large-scale wildfire in the Vitosha Mountain near Sofia has not been contained, and is actually advancing towards the suburbs of the Bulgarian capital, according to the Bulgarian Greens.

The wildfire in Vitosha broke out near the Sofia suburb of Bistritsa on Sunday; it has been raging for four days, and its tackling has been hindered by the rough terrain.

"Fire-fighters are not motivated. There is a shortage of equipment and lack of organization. It is a lie that the fire has been contained. Volunteers are being turned down in order to maintain peace and calm with the population," Dimitar Katsov, a volunteer, told reporters at a news conference of the Bulgarian Greens on Wednesday, as cited by money.bg.

"The containment of the fire is an illusion that is being created in order not to destroy the image of Boyko Borisov as a fire-fighter," he added, referring to Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who is a former fire-fighter and police officer.

"The fire has only 50 meters before reaching Bistritsa. If we don't manage to contain it today, there will be horrible times for Bulgaria ahead," another eco-activist, Alexander Dunchev, is quoted as saying.

The Greens urged the Bulgarian government to accept the international help that has already been offered by Israel and other nations.

The eco-activists further accused the Bulgarian authorities of inadequate reactions at the very onset of the Vitosha wildfire.

"It turns out there are enough volunteers but there is nobody to organize them in squads. Volunteers need to be trained, and to have equipment," said Andrey Kovachev, co-chair of the Bulgarian Greens party.

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

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Tags: Vitosha, Bistritsa, wildfire, wildfires, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Greens, Greens party, Bulgaria Greens, Andrey Kovachev, fire-fighters, fire fighters, fire brigade


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