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Gagik Aghbalyan

Byurakan Fire Rages On

New pockets of fire have ignited in the forests surrounding the Aragatzotn village of Byurakan.

Fire in the area was first reported two days ago.

This morning, a half hour after Department of Emergency Services Head Moushegh Ghazaryan told Hetq that the fire was under control, new reports were coming in that the fire had spread.

Firefighting equipment must be carried in by hand, since the trucks can’t make it to the site of the fire.

Some 100 firefighters are battling the blaze in the 3,622-hectare Byurakan Forest.

Estimates vary regarding the amount of land already burnt. The Ministry of Emergency Situations cites 80 hectares. Moushegh Ghazaryan says that only 20-30 hectares have been partially destroyed.

The oak and maple forests are listed as endangered in Armenia’s Red Book. The site is also known for its hawthorn and rosehip bushes, the fruit of which is gathered and sold by local residents.

The area is also home to brown bears, wolves and birds of prey.

Road sign warns people not to disturb unique plant life

This sign, warning about the danger of fires, has become target practice

Հրդեհից հետո տարածքը դառնում է մեռյալ

Հրդեհը մտնում է թխկիների այգի

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