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Wrap-up: Wildfires Rage in Bulgaria

On Wednesday, a total of 74 wildfires occurred across Bulgaria, 45 of which still rage on, the head of the General Directorate for Fire Safety and Population Protection, Chief Commissioner Nikolai Nikolov, told a news briefing.
Large wildfires occurred in various parts of different regions of the country, including Pazardzhik, Haskovo, and Stara Zagora.
The fires near the villages of Elshitsa and Tsrancha (Pazardzhik Region, Southern Bulgaria) have been extinguished. Firefighters are still on duty there, but those fires no longer pose a threat, Nikolov said.
Two other wildfires – one near the village of Bryagovo (Haskovo Region, South Central Bulgaria) and another in the municipality of Elhovo (Yambol Region, Southeastern Bulgaria) still pose a threat. The fire near Bryagovo has affected some 100 ha, and the fire near Elhovo – some 80 ha, the Fire Safety head said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Haskovo District Governor Minko Angelov told BTA that a state of disaster has been declared in the southern Bulgarian municipalities of Harmanli, Lyubimets and Svilengrad after wildfires went out of control.
Nikolov summarized that more than 450 firefighters with 117 fire engines, policemen, forest officers and military equipment are still participating in the to suppress the wildfires across the country. There are more than 3,000 volunteers, he said. Earlier, the Defence Ministry said that armed forces personnel and equipment of the Bulgarian Air Force and the Land Forces also took park in efforts to suppress the wildfires.
Nikolov noted that there were 1,601 wildfires in Bulgaria since August 1. He urged farmers to suspend their work in the fields for a few days, i.e., not to light fires to clear the stubble of the previous crop season.  In more than 90% of cases the fires are caused by human activity and the high temperatures and strong winds only worsen the situation, Nikolov warned. “There is no danger to settlements and citizens anywhere, no people were injured in the wildfires that occurred today. The situation in the country is dynamic, but not critical,” Nikolov said.