Forest Fire Erupts in Kocani, Reaches Houses

A great forest fire erupted in a forest at a hill near Kocani around noon on Monday. Local firefighting teams attempted to put the fire under control, but they were unsuccessful due to the strong wind, which spread the fire towards the city. According to information available from terrain till 10:00 pm, the fire reached and caught two houses at the edge of the city, the electricity in entire city has been cut, and two firefighters have been rushed to the local hospital due to intoxication with CO2. Skopje Mayor Petre Silegov announced via Facebook that firefighting teams from Skopje have headed towards Kocani to help their colleagues. PM Zoran Zaev, Deputy PM Ljupco Nikolovski and Health Minister Venko Filipce left earlier the Ilinden celebration at Meckin Kamen in Krusevo and headed towards Kocani in order to check the situation with the fire on terrain. President Stevo Pendarovski informed that teams from the Army were also deployed in Kocani to aid the attempts of firefighters to put the fire under control. From VMRO-DPMNE they inform that their President Hristijan Mickoski also went to Kocani. The Crisis Management Centre informs that there are several other forest fires active in different places in the country. On Tuesday morning, the Health Ministry said the nine Kocani residents who had asked for medical help the previous day due to smoke inhalation were in good medical condition, adding that they’d been discharged. Nobody has been hurt in the fire. The fires that broke out on Sunday at multiple locations throughout the country were localised during the night, but they are still active, while the danger of them expanding hasn’t been removed, Telma TV reported at around 10 am on Tuesday. Fire-fighting teams with vehicles and mechanisation, Army and Protection and Rescue Directorate teams, and citizens that are helping are on the ground, it was added in the report. In the morning, the terrain is being toured before the helicopters to put out the fires are activated. Zaev said everything was being done to deal with the fire situation. The Government introduced a full ban on movement in forests.