We are not expecting an even hotter summer "Air tractors" are correct, but there are no pilots

Photo: Free Press / Riste Pejovski

As far as I know, the "air tractors" are now correct, but they cannot be operational because at the moment, in the country, we do not have pilots employed to operate them. They are managed by the Directorate for Protection and Rescue (SSO), so you should contact them for more details, Dragi Tarchugovski, the state advisor for organization and functioning of the Crisis Management System, answered a journalist's question today.

He emphasized that they are missing everywhere in the world, above all in Europe. The Mediterranean countries, he emphasized, have constantly open contests for pilots for "air tractors". They are always open, he added, and they are much richer than us.

"I would also like to be a pilot, but it is not easy to be a pilot. However, being on an "air tractor" is even more difficult than piloting an ordinary, commercial plane carrying hundreds of passengers. Because he has to fill water in flight, he has to discharge water at a precisely determined point, it is one of the most complicated professions, Tarchugovski said.

According to him, they are paid according to the possibilities we have at the moment.

"These are key personnel that are not easy to train. And whether the salary is high or low is a completely different question, underlined Tarchugovski.

Goran Stojanovski, head of the Operations and Coordination Department at the Crisis Management Center, said that three helicopters from the Ministry of the Interior and one from the Army are available for fires this summer.

"We have three helicopters from the Ministry of the Interior and one intervention helicopter from the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, because it is operational, but when we have such situations, we will certainly be able to use it. On Thursday, we received a notification from "National Forests", that practically due to the lack of financial resources in the budget, they currently do not have the financial resources to supply the vehicles with fuel, let alone go out and be able to intervene according to the operational plans they have . So yes, we have to rely exclusively on the Brigade and the TPPE units that we have within the municipalities, as well as the voluntary firefighting societies, as well as the Ministry of the Interior, said Stojanovski.

Both agreed that due to the high temperatures, they believe that we will have fires in open spaces this summer as well.

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