Firefighters have managed to keep the forest fire on Mt Stara Planina from spreading but have not brought it under control yet, a local official said on Wednesday.
Pirot town emergency situations coordinator Sreten Savov said that the fire was being brought under control after four days. Mt Stara Planina stretches across the border with Bulgaria and the fire is thought to have started on the other side of the border. “The residents of two local villages and their properties are safe. There are no problems and I hope there will be none,” he said, adding that the firefighters have managed to re-direct the fire despite the rough terrain at altitudes of between 1,700 and 1,900 meters and strong winds.
More than 200 professional firefighters, Gendarmerie personnel, forest rangers and volunteers have been deployed to fight the fire on the mountain.
A second fire along the Serbia-Bulgaria border has been threatening the town of Bosilegrad, south of Pirot, with smoke covering the town. Local officials said that the fire was blazing along a 15 kilometer stretch of land covered in brush and trees. Mayor Vladimir Zaharijev told N1 that fires are blazing in several locations, adding that the situation is highly alarming.
Forest fires were reported over the past few days across southern Serbia in areas along the borders with Bulgaria and North Macedonia and the Ground Safety Zone along the boundary line with Kosovo.