More than 15 hectares of orchards and forest were burned in the vicinity of the village of Berivojce, near Kamenica on Monday evening, RTV Puls reported. The fire broke out on Sunday afternoon, causing the most damage to the property of Zoran Simic from Berivojce. More than 400 plum and cherry trees belonging to Simic were destroyed. It is estimated that direct damage, counting only the loss of the destroyed fruit, amounts to €10,000, while the costs of rebuilding fruit production will be several times higher.
„Both Serbian and Albanian property burned. I do not know who is responsible for the fire, but I know the damage is massive. I will have to get rid of all this and form a new orchard, but I do not have the money to do that,“ Zoran Simic told Puls.
He also asked the Serbian and Kosovan institutions to provide help as soon as it is possible, in order to avoid losing the entire year because it is high time for spring planting.
Simic’s orchard is located in an ideal location, in the immediate vicinity of the village, and the fruit it produces is superb every year.
„I usually produced three to five tons of various fruit of top quality and sell it in the market, on which my five-member family lived on,“ said Simic, one of the few farmers in the Kamenica region that deals with fruit growing.
The orchards and forests of Simic’s neighbors also suffered damage.
The police conducted an investigation and are currently investigating the causes of the fire. There are no indications to assume that it was arson.