Slovenian firefighters defend minefield from flames in N Macedonia

Skopje – Slovenian firefighters helping in the effort to put out wildfires in North Macedonia have protected buildings close to the eastern village of Budinarci from flames. With the help of a helicopter, they are also fighting a fire that has spread toward a minefield, the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration has said.

Slovenia sent almost 50 members of civil protection specialising in fighting wildfires with 17 vehicles to North Macedonia earlier this week in response to the country’s request for help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

According to the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration, the Slovenian firefighters have been involved in the firefighting operation in the areas of Robovo and Budinarci. They successfully defended the village of Robovo from flames. The area will be inspected by a helicopter today.

The Slovenian civil protection authorities estimate that the situation is still very tricky because of the wind, which has been been changing its direction all the time, the heat with temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius and the low relative humidity.

The area is thickly wooded, mostly with pines and cypresses, and the terrain is very up and down.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who visited the Berovo area today, expects the wildfires near the town of Budinarci to be put out today or on Monday.