New Wildfire Monitoring System Coming to Dalmatia

By 22 March 2018

ZAGREB, March 22, 2018 - Executives from the national forest management company, Hrvatske Šume, and the Transmitters and Communications company, on Thursday signed a contract valued at 20 million kuna to set up a video surveillance system intended to monitor and warn of wildfires in four Dalmatian counties – Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Hrvatske Šume intend to invest an additional 120 million kuna for wildfire protection.

The video surveillance should be set up before the wildfire season and no later than June 1, and will provide about 90 cameras that will be strategically placed to monitor and warn of wildfires.

Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić said at the signing ceremony that he expected a lot of benefit from the new system so that the scope of last year's disasters aren't repeated. He underscored that the ministry would invest an additional 40 million kuna for the wildfire season to equip voluntary firefighters on the Adriatic and inland. Part of the money will be invested into vehicles and equipment. Hrvatske Šume too will invest 80 million kuna for the construction of anti-wildfire roads and to employ overseers and the like.

"These are significantly higher amounts than in previous years," Tolušić said and added that Istria already has a similar surveillance system.

Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković said that this is a major event for two strategic companies.

The director of the Transmitters and Communications company Mate Botica claims that Croatia was the first Mediterranean country to implement a wildfire preventative surveillance system. He explained that the project was created and developed at the Split Electronic Engineering Faculty and that it will be able to use the company's already existing infrastructure.