Deputy chief of the emergency situations sector in the Ministry of Interior, Djordje Babic has told our radio that forest fire on the Tara Mountain is still being fought, and the final extinguishing of major fires near Cacak and Prokuplje is under way. According to him, the drizzling rain and drop in temperature over the last night helped in battling the raging fire, but the danger of spreading is still existent. Our reporter Jelica Tapuskovic has talked to Djordje Babic.
During the whole night, teams of firefighters, gendarmerie, Serbian Army and Srbijasume company have been working on putting out wildfires in Serbia, helped by locals and teams from the local municipalities. The drop in temperature and the rain that started falling have helped, but the strong wind that started blowing threatens to spread the fire.
Since this morning, the fire in the foot of the Kopaonik Mountain has been fully under control, as well as those on the localities around Cacak, Vrska Cuka (near the Bulgarian border) and in Ljubovija, in western Serbia. There are raging fire outbreaks on the administrative line with Kosmet, going on for 15 days, but they are impossible to extinguish due to the amounts of cluster bombs, so they can only be kept under control.
Deputy chief of the emergency situations sector in the Ministry of Interior, Djordje Babic says that on the Mt Tara, where the situation was most critical, the fire is finally being subdued and that the houses that were in jeopardy have been saved. Although the possibility was announced yesterday, the population has not been evacuated – not only because there was no need, but many of them did not want to. According to Babic, there will be no emergency situation declared here, as it was in the region of Zajecar, but the situation in the field will be closely monitored. He added that the fire is expected to be fully under control by the end of the day.
“We are working on preventing the further spreading of the fire and extinguishing it in some places. Continuing actions from the air are expected during the day”, said Babic. As he has pointed, the Russian airplanes will be in operation today, as they were yesterday.
Our collocutor has added that the fires in the vicinity of Prokuplje, Cacak and between Mali Zvornik and Bajina Basta, in western Serbia, have been localized, so now their extinguishing is under way. Babic has reminded that 15 people have been killed and 70 injured in open space fires this year. Therefore, he has appealed at all citizens to refrain from building fire, throwing away burning cigarettes and burning weed in such high temperatures, because the foliage is dry, thus being susceptible to fast spreading of fire.