Sunday, July 29, 2007


Bulgaria had the dubious honour to be mentioned in the Yahoo! news for its wildfires reported by AFP (Firefighters struggle to contain blazes in south Europe):
"Firefighters backed by helicopters struggled Sunday to douse major forest fires across southern Europe as special prayers were held in Romania for an end to a deadly heatwave searing the continent. Firefighters staged an uphill battle to extinguish the flames which have ravaged forests in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, as well as Spain's Canary Islands off the western coast of Africa. In Bulgaria, where 23,000 hectares (nearly 57,000 acres) of woodland have been burned in the scorching temperatures of the past week, fires continued to rage in the south and centre.
The region around Chepelare was on high alert amid warnings that the 10th century monastery of Rila -- which has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO -- could be in danger.
Bulgarian police said they have now arrested 20 people on suspicion of starting the forest fires."
I haven't seen wildfires first hand, but I feel the unprecedented heat wave. Temperatures keep at Celsium 35-40 for days. Even nights bring no cool air. The baby doesn't sleep well, often wakes up, screams and cries. In Rasnik, where we have spent most of the last two weeks, the small river has dried out. The pair of storks that made me so happy by returning to the nest ( aren't seen there anymore. I've spotted them only once, in flight. My guess is that after the river has dried, they don't find enough food around it and have moved. They have no young, so nothing binds them to the nest. Unfortunately, even if a species isn't directly attacked by humans, it is often driven out of a territory by habitat destruction, usually also brought about by humans.
Every summer in Bulgaria has several continuous very hot days, usually at the end of July or the beginning of August. But this year these days began too early, lasted for too long and weathermen warn us that more are to come. I don't remember such a summer. Neither does any other person I've talked about that, no matter how old.

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