Politics | August 13, 2001, Monday // 00:00

A state of emergency was declared in the municipality of Ivailovgrad, Southern Bulgaria, as heavy forest fires continues for the third day running. Since late Sunday a Greek fire helicopter with a capacity of 15 t of water has been helping put down the fire in the Eastern Rhodopes, Ivailovgrad Mayor Stefan Tanev told Bulgarian press agency BTA. The fire, which is raging for a fourth day in the region of Ivailovgrad, has destroyed 5,000 ha of mixed forests. It is advancing along a 15-kilometre front and is 500 meters way from the Greek border, where Greek fire fighters are ready to meet it if it spreads into the country. Interior Minister Georgi Petkanov told the national radio that he had faxed a request to his Greek counterpart to send helicopters to help put down the fire.

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