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(DF) Two Forest Rangers Die Fighting Wild Fire in Southern Bulgaria

August 4 (BTA) – Two forest rangers died and a third suffered bad burns on Wednesday while fighting a large fire near the southern village of Petrovo, the Interior Ministry said. In another fire in the southern village of Starosel, people were evacuated after grass fire destroyed six houses. The alert for a wildfire near Petrovo was received just after midnight on Wednesday. The local fire service said that the fire has been localized and efforts continued to put it out completely. In Starosel, large grass areas around the village caught fire and it spread to a nearby forest, BTA was told by Penka Ganeva, the mayor of the municipal centre, Hissarya. Nobody is reported hurt and the people who had to be evacuated, were accommodated by relatives. The fire suppression efforts were joined by firefighters and vehicles from the fire services in the nearby Plovdiv, Karlovo, Hissarya, Strelcha and Kazanluk, as well as a Cougar helicopter from the Krumovo air base. Ganeva said that there was another wild fire close to the nearby village of Krustevich and the Buntovna chalet in the Balkan Range, but they have been put out. Late on Wednesday, Prime Minister Stefan Yanev held a meeting in the government building over the emergency caused by the fires burning in many parts of Bulgaria. Participating were the Ministers of the Interior, of Defence, of Agriculture, Foods and Forestry, and the Chief of Defence. They were expected to discuss emergency measures to contain the crisis with the fires and prevent casualties. LN/