A forest fire near the town of Chepelare in southern Bulgaria was still raging for the seventh day on Tuesday, although temperatures had fallen markedly from 40 degrees Celsius to below 30 degrees.
The fire was spreading across a 650-hectare site, private news agency Focus reported.
The fire brigade was deploying helicopters to the site, which is inaccessible due to being surrounded by steep hills.
Strong winds rekindled the fire in many places as the area remained in a state of emergency.
Some 600 smaller towns and villages imposed water rationing in response to the continuing drought, the Ministry for Regional Development in Sofia said.
Six regions - home to some 3.8 per cent of the Bulgarian population - were worst hit by the water shortage, including Burgas by the Black Sea, according to the Ministry.
Meteorologists were expecting temperatures to fall further by Wednesday and for the first time in weeks predicted rain and thunderstorms.
Last Mod: 31 Temmuz 2007, 15:15