Bulgaria Scraps Investigation of Mysterious 2012 Vitosha Wildfire

Society » ENVIRONMENT | September 13, 2013, Friday // 10:57
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Scraps Investigation of Mysterious 2012 Vitosha Wildfire The July 2012 Vitosha wildfire as seen from Bulgarian capital Sofia. Photo by BGNES

Prosecutors in Sofia have announced they have formally stopped the investigation of the July 2012 wildfire on the Vitosha mountain near the Bulgarian capital.

No evidence has been discovered been discovered that the fire has been started by an intentional human action, said the prosecutor.

The investigation was formally started against an unknown perpetrator due to the high public interest in the case.

The Vitosha wildfire blazed at a time when Bulgaria was shaken by the so-called Forestry Act controversy.

Strong street protests in Sofia rallied against amendments to this act, said to benefit ski operators and lumber companies by easing access to forest areas.

The Vitosha Ski company, which operates facilities on Vitosha, was pivotal in pushing through the controversial amendments, said protesters.

Vitosha Ski is known to be controlled by controversial businessman Tseko Minev, president of the Bulgarian Ski Federation, who also controls Yulen, ski operator in Bulgaria's top winter resort Bansko.

The Vitosha wildfire engulfed some 75 acres of protected coniferous forest in a hard access areas; it was battled for days by firefighters, volunteers and army helicopters.

Reports by hikers on the day the fire broke out said they sow how smoke started to rise in short intervals from three different areas of the Bistrishko Branishte reserve.

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Tags: volunteers, firefighters, fire, tseko minev, Bansko, Yulen, Vitosha, Vitosha Ski, wildfire, protests, Forestry Act, sofia, Bistrishko Branishte
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