Monday, 18 July 2022

Sibenik Fires: Owners of Destroyed Houses Get Mobile Homes

July the 18th, 2022 - The devastating Sibenik fires which have burned down houses recently have worked to remind us of the dangers of the dry Dalmatian landscape and the extremely harsh rays of the summer sun at this time of year. 

While wildfires break out in Croatia, particularly in Dalmatia, at this time of year almost like clockwork, the human cost is always staggering and unfathomable. To lose your house in a blaze and be able to do absolutely nothing about it is incomprehensible to most people, but a rapid response to this has seen families who have lost their homes to the most recent Sibenik fires get mobile homes to move into.

As Morski writes, during the night, prefabricated houses arrived in Zaton and Raslina, two heavily affected areas of the most recent Sibenik fires, for the families who lost their homes to move into. The move currently involves two families, one from Raslina and one from Zaton, and as Boris Dukic, president of the Zaton Local Board, said, one family should be moving into the house today.

''We've now taken the first step, the prefab houses arrived during the night, their connection to the electricity and water supply will follow, and then we'll move on. A family from Zaton, a husband and wife, should move into the house today. People are coming forward and offering us help, and the next step is to take care of these families, to build them a proper, permanent home. Everyone has really got involved and I believe and hope that everything will be resolved in the shortest possible time,'' said Dukic.

A family consisting of a mother with several children was also left without a roof over their heads in Raslina owing to the tragic Sibenik fires, and they should enter their temporary house on Tuesday or Wednesday this week at the very latest.

''We still have to level the ground and everything should be ready by the middle of the week at the latest. As for the renovation of their home, I believe that they'll be able to welcome the winter in a brand new one, because people got involved right away, offering help, we've already solved the installations and the renovation of the roof, which is fifty percent of the work,'' said Marko Lokas, the president of MO Raslina, reports local portal SibenikIN.

On Saturday, a meeting of the Zaton Local Board was held with the heads of the County and City crisis headquarters, Darko Dukic and Danijela Mileta, and with the fire chiefs, where steps were agreed on to report damage to residential and commercial buildings, as well as to agricultural crops after declaring a state of natural disaster following the Sibenik fires.

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Monday, 29 July 2019

Police Catch Female Arsonist Suspected of Causing Fire Near Šibenik

The Šibenik police arrested a woman on Saturday afternoon who was directly linked to causing the fire in the Šibenik area over the weekend, reports Šibenski.portal on July 28, 2019.

"In connection with the fire that burned in the Šibenik Dubrava area on July 27, around 13:30, we inform you that the police have determined that this was caused deliberately.

Thanks to our commitment to work and the evidence gathered through the eyewitnesses, the Šibenik-Knin police narrowed the circle of suspects, and in the afternoon, they arrested a female directly linked to the fire," the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) said.

A criminal investigation has been carried out, and the Šibenik police will inform the public on the results of the investigation in a timely manner when all conditions are met.

Recall, on Saturday morning, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, together with Chief of Police Administration of Šibenik-Knin Ivica Kostanić, reported to the public that the police had excluded certain evidence and were working to bring the investigation to an end. 

"There is a possibility that the fire was started deliberately, and in that sense, we are conducting a criminal investigation and verifying whether there are any suspicious situations. We are checking certain facts and knowledge that we have to find the cause,” said Kostanić. 

Otherwise, Šibenski.portal informally found that it is the same woman who was suspected of starting seven fires in the Dubrava area from 18 July to 23 July two years ago. 

Chief firefighter Slavko Tucaković said on Saturday evening that the fire was under control and that fire rehabilitation has been carried out. It estimated that the intervention of firefighters lasting 28 hours will cost a minimum of 4 to  5 million kuna.

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Sunday, 28 July 2019

Fire Update: After 30 Hours, Fire in Šibenik Area Under Control

Just after 1:30 pm on Saturday, a fire broke out in the Dubrava area near Šibenik which at one point had 200 firefighters on the ground, up to six Canadairs, and forced motorway closures in the area. The strong southern wind (jugo) made it difficult for firefighters to fight the blaze, which burned over one kilometer. 

It was the first time the Croatian Army's ground forces have been engaged in this year's firefighting season and was named the biggest fire in Croatia this year. 

Despite the efforts of the forces on the ground and in the air, on Sunday morning, the fire is not yet under control. According to Šibenikski.portal, the fire has spread to Bilice. Volimir Milošević, commander of JVP Šibenik, two canadairs and two air tractors arrived early Sunday morning.

“It came to the hamlet of Slavica in Bilice. At one point, it moved to Grubišić, but we managed to put it out. Apart from Mihaljević and Jurasi, part of the fire spread to the Krtolin hill to the windmills,” says Milošević.

The good news is that the heroism of the firefighters managed to prevent damage to the facilities, but the fire has spread in several directions.

"With regard to the condition of the fire two hours ago, it is better now, but it is still bad. The Canadairs will work on the edges, however, the surface is large and the jugo wind creates problems because it sporadically sparks a new fire in certain locations," added the JVP Šibenik commander. 

The county firefighter commander Damir Dukić said that there was no classic evacuation, but that the police were with residents beside their homes while firefighters fought to save the buildings.

"The situation is much better than last night. It is a bit weaker,” Dukić continued. 

He too warned that the fire covered a large area and that it was hard to predict what would happen since it is burning through a thick pine forest.

"These are hills, they are tall pines, so we just have to be careful," Dukić said. He added that the motorway was open for all traffic after the fire forced road closures between Pirovac and Vrpolje on Saturday.

About 230 people worked to fight the fire overnight, and the firefighting teams and Croatian Army were joined by their Zadar associates.

For the latest updates on Croatia's roads, check the HAK website reported that four firefighters were injured in the blaze, according to Chief Fireman Slavko Tucaković, who described the situation as "quite difficult".

"We had two injured firefighters yesterday - one had a knee injury and another inhaled smoke. They were transported to the hospital and they are well," he said. Overnight, another two firefighters were injured. One suffered from a hand injury, and the other from inhaling smoke.

Tucaković confirmed that they all received help and are well. 

Two Canadairs and air tractors resumed work since the early hours of the morning, and overnight there were 50 members of the Croatian Army troop forces engaged who were sent pn Saturday from the barracks in Benkovac, which will replace 52 soldiers from the barracks Knin and Sinj. On Saturday, air forces with a total of seven planes continued for more than six hours to put out the fires in Šibenik-Knin county, totaling more than 30 hours and about 1200 tons of water, MORH said. 

Just before 9 am Sunday morning, rain fell in the Šibenik area, and around 9:18 am, Zagreb firefighters left to help fight the Šibenik blaze. 

9:27 am Sunday morning: ”We are hoping for an hour-long heavy rainfall that could extinguish this fire, otherwise we will have to stay on the ground. Anyway, people are on the ground no matter what until everything is completely out,” said the Commander of the Public Fire Brigade of Šibenik, Volimir Milošević. The air forces returned to their bases in Split and Zadar due to the weather.

Chief firefighter Slavko Tucaković said at 10 am on Sunday that the situation on the ground is now stable.

"We maybe already could have declared the fire localized, and now, in relation to what it was, everything is under control. With the tremendous efforts of firefighters, army, and citizens, with a great joint effort, we have come to the conclusion, and I would certainly commend the county firefighter Darko Dukić who coordinated this great action,” said commander Slavko Tucaković.

Tucaković visited the scene this morning with Interior Minister Davor Božinović, who also expressed his satisfaction with the work of all the agencies, as well as the local self-government units and the citizens who contributed in the fight. 

"Although the situation was already under control, the heavy rain that came this morning was just what we needed, so we stopped the help from the interior because there is no need for it. Now we are actually slowly releasing people and reorganizing the forces on the ground,” Tucaković explained.

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Monday, 22 July 2019

Croatian Air Force Participate in Putting Out Fire Near Šibenik

Summer in Dalmatia often unfortunately means the presence of potentially damaging wildfires. A couple of summers ago, the Croatian coast was dominated by horrendous forest fires which caused untold material damage, some of which were suspected to have been started purposely. One such incident near Šibenik has thankfully been avoided.

This year, despite one serious fire which could have been devastating on Zrće beach, the weather hasn't been as warm, the sun hasn't (yet) been as fierce, and there haven't been as many reports of wildfires taking hold in the dense, dry Mediterranean pine forests which cover the rocky Dalmatian hills.

Still, some fires have occurred, and one which took hold close to the historic city of Šibenik was thankfully put out with help from the Croatian Armed Forces.

As Morski writes on the 21st of July, 2019, one Canadair CL-415 and two Airtractor AT-802's along with the members of the firefighting department of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia participated in an afternoon of fire fighting in Dobri Dolac-Zaton near Šibenik in Šibenik-Knin County on the afternoon of the 21st of July, 2019.

According to the first data from the field, about ten hectares of grass land, low vegetation and pine trees in the forest in the area near Šibenik have been burnt. The fire was initially attacked by 33 firefighters, who managed to localise it at around 18:20, as was reported from the County Centre 112.

From the beginning of this year's fire-fighting season (June the 17th), including July the 20th, 2019, Croatian firefighting forces were engaged in extinguishing twelve fires (in Šibenik-Knin County, Split-Dalmatia County, Zadar County, Lika-Senj County, Istria County, and in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County).

Canadairs were recently used to deal with what would have been an absolutely devastating fire in Novalja on the island of Pag, and Orbiter 3B aircraft systems have been engaged eleven times so far.

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