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March 23, 2023

Harghita forest fire expanding

The fire that engulfed a resinous forest near the Plaiesii de Jos Commune, Harghita Co, Sunday has been expanding, taking up to between 60 to 100 hectares of forest, with nearly 200 people fighting to contain the blaze, Mediafax reported. The fire hotbeds dozed overnight were caught by flames several times due to the wind, rendering troopers’ and fire fighters’ intervention ineffective.According to forest rangers and the joint forest ownership body, the fire is estimated to have spread to between 60 and 100 hectares, although an accurate assessment is difficult due to the thick smoke. According to Col Stelian Cimpoesu from the Harghita Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU), the intervention task force was supplemented, with the entire Miercurea Ciuc Fire Fighers’ Department, Detachment no 25 mountain troopers, 15 gendarmes and seven voluntary emergency intervention crews from all over  Ciucul de Jos being deployed to contain the blaze, along with scores of locals.The Harghita Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU) called on the Ministry of Administration and Interior to send a special water-dumping helicopter, yet they were told there was none available for the mountain area.  The chairman of the Harghita County Council (CJ), Borboly Csaba, sent a letter  to Harghita Prefect Augusta-Cristina Urzica, urging her to get a special helicopter from abroad. The CJ also deployed two ATVs from the Mountain Rescuing units in Odorheiu Secuiesc and Gheorgheni to help transporting the emergency task force, food and water in the blaze area. Cimpoesu said that the head of ISU Harghita, Gheorghe Pop, asked the utilitarian aviation for help, namely to send a light air plane to fly over the area to see the surface area enveloped by the fire, the number of fire hotbeds and to assess the intensity of the fire. An ISU command point to operate round-the-clock will be installed on the mountain top close to the area under fire.

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