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Serbia asks Russia for support in eliminating wildfire in eastern part of the country

Currently, around 340 people are extinguishing the fire
Il-76 aircraft Igor Ageenko/TASS
Il-76 aircraft
© Igor Ageenko/TASS

BELGRADE, October 29. /TASS/. Serbian emergency workers have addressed their Russian colleagues with a request for support in eliminating wildfires on the Stara Planina mountain (located in the eastern part of Serbia near the border with Bulgaria - TASS), head of the Serbian Sector for Emergency Situations Predrag Maric said on Tuesday in an interview with TV Pink channel.

According to Maric, the Serbian side has asked the Russian Emergencies Ministry to send Il-76 aircrafts to aid the Serbian emergency services. "This is their best aircraft for putting out fires, maybe the best in the world. It carries 42 tonnes of water onboard and it can accommodate a crew of 10. We expect that in a couple of days, this aircraft will arrive in Serbia and joint the efforts aimed to eliminate the fire from above, which will help our people a lot," Maric stated.

The Stara Planina wildfire originated on the Bulgarian territory and spread to Serbia. According to Maric, the fire is raging on the territory inaccessible to cars, and firefighters have to reach the site on foot. Heavy smoke haze around the area rules out the use of helicopters, which is why cooperating with the aviation of the Russian Emergencies Ministry is the only option, he noted.

Currently, around 340 people are extinguishing the fire, the Serbian official informed.