Firefighters struggle to contain fires in southern Dalmatia

NEWS 26.09.2018 09:55
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Source: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

The wildfire that broke out in the Orebic area on the southern Croatian peninsula on Peljesac on Tuesday was contained during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, and the situation was under control on Wednesday morning, local authorities have reported.

According to weather forecasts for Wednesday, the weather conditions are likely to be more favourable for firefighters who battled the blaze that was spread by strong winds on Tuesday and reached a residential area which forced locals and tourists to be evacuated.

Yesterday, some 50 soldiers joined firefighters to help contain the blaze, which spread through the hamlet of Mokalo in a tourist area close to the town of Orebic, after erupting in the bush area on the Peljesac peninsula on Tuesday morning.

About 40 residents and tourists staying in two camping areas around the village had to be evacuated, and four residential houses were consumed by fire.

A few hundred firefighters were still engaged in the area on Wednesday morning.

“At the moment, we still have two ongoing wildfires in southern Dalmatia. One of these is here in Orebic. It was active during the night and it consumed a large area. It threatened property and people during the whole time. Unfortunately, four houses were burned down, but there were no casualties. Firefighting planes were also engaged in containing the blaze. In spite of strong winds, the planes still managed to help. The other fire near Metkovic is also serious, there's a large wildfire above the village of Kula Norinska,” head of the state rescue directorate, Dragan Lozancic, told state broadcaster HRT on Wednesday morning.

The wildfire near the town of Metkovic had broken out around 2 pm on Tuesday and was still raging on Wednesday morning, with about 100 firefighters and 100 soldiers helping the firefighting efforts.