Unusual Winter Forest Fire Flames in Bulgaria's Pirin
A forest fire has erupted Saturday afternoon in the Pirin Mountains in Southern Bulgaria, above the Demyanitsa hut south of winter resort Bansko.
The fire is above the treeline, near the peaks of Kaymakchal and Strazhite, where an area of some 25 acres of grasses and mountain pine shrubs is burning.
The area, at 2,300 m altitude, can be accessed only by foot and air, and local municipal and firefighter authorities are organizing units to combat the wildfire.
A helicopter is expected to tackle the fire Saturday, with units on foot stationed in the steep rocky area to monitor it during the night.
Authorities have stated that if necessary on Sunday they will request the aid of Bulgaria's Air Force to tame the fire.
The Pirin Mountains are protected by Bulgaria's Pirin National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
As elsewhere, forest fires are usual in Bulgaria for the drier and hotter months of summer and early fall, so the late fall occurence in Pirin has few precedents.
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