The Fires of Bulgaria's Top Firefighter

Editorial |Author: Maria Guineva | July 8, 2012, Sunday // 07:58|  views

Bulgaria is on fire, a fire that is hard to extinguish.

In the country ruled by a fireman ammo depots are blasting, trains and buses are burning, fed-up people are setting estates of criminal Roma bosses ablaze, wildfires flare in woods and fields.

The latest wildfire engulfed the Bistrishko Branishte natural reserve in the Vitosha Mountain near the capital Sofia. The blaze destroyed acres of woods, bushes and other vegetation. It lasted 7 days and outbreaks are still festering.

Senior officials offered contradicting statements and information. There were a number of witness accounts about overpowering chaos with the institutions being unprepared to respond to the situation and firemen, rangers, and volunteers ready for selfless work idling back and forth over the above. Actually, nothing unusual happened...

The top firefighter of the Republic, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, self-proclaimed expert in taming fires and holder of a PhD in fire rescue, kept silent for several days, and addressed the issue from a distant highway opening only after making sure the blaze is on the way of being extinguished. Nothing unusual here as well...

The unusual was the hundreds of volunteers, common citizens, who showed up brimming with desire to help. They were so many that the authorities admitted being stunned and totally at a loss how to handle them.

The volunteers were some of the same people who staged the protest rallies in Sofia against the controversial Forestry Act, giving birth to what is now known as Bulgaria's Occupy Eagles' Bridge Movement. They say they will fight relentlessly against lobbyist legislation and for preserving what is left of the country's beautiful nature, but immediately postponed one of their demonstrations in order to help extinguishing the flames.

Meanwhile, the Black Sea capital Varna saw an unprecedentedly mass rally against plans of the all-powerful shady TIM consortium to erect a number of buildings in the city's top landmark, the beautiful Sea Garden, beloved by locals and visitors alike.

These people, this emerging and growing civil society in Bulgaria might become the biggest challenge, the hardest fire for the Fireman to put out...

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Tags: fire, wildfire, firefighter, fireman, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Bistrishko Branishte, Vitosha, volunteers, Occupy Eagles' Bridge, protests, Forestry Act, Varna, Sea Garden


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