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230 million sq. m. burned down in Bulgaria

Date: 31.07.2007

Fires in Bulgaria have damaged nearly 230 million sq m of land, Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Stefan Yuroukov said.

Another 30 million sq m were still on fire, he told Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).

Deliberate arsons were responsible for some of the damage, Yuroukov said.

Uncultivated land that was once nationalized and now returned to owners is another cause of the blazes.

High grasses grow in these areas, where even a cigarette may start a huge fire.

Fires that broke out in Bulgaria in July forced several municipalities to call an emergency situation. Fires have even damaged residential areas in a few towns.

Yuroukov also said that the establishment of a new state forestry agency would not resolve automatically all the problems, but will help minimize corruption and limit poaching, illegal felling and other violations.

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