Sunday, 21 August 2022

Slavko Tucakovic: 71% More Croatian Wildfires in 2022 Compared to 2021

August the 21st, 2022 - As fires continue to rage across Europe, with even colder countries like the United Kingdom having been the frequent victim of what are, in that country, freak incidents involving wildfires, Croatia is no exception. According to one expert, 71% more Croatian wildfires have broken out in 2022 than back in 2021.

As Morski writes, the Croatian coast is a victim of wildfires every summer, but this year has caused concern among those who follow such situations. In an interview with HTV 4 recently, chief fire commander Slavko Tucakovic assessed this summer as having, at least so far, been quite exhausting for fire brigades, due to the large number of Croatian wildfires, prolonged periods of drought and horrifically high temperatures.

''This year we've had as many as 71 percent more fires compared to last year, and as for the burnt areas, they're 170 percent larger this year,'' he stated.

Over the last month, there were no less than 30 outdoor fires, and on one day as many as 84 Croatian wildfires were recorded. With exceptional efforts with the help of the air force, they were all brought under control very quickly. Only a couple of days ago there were 40 active Croatian wildfires raging, but the current situation is good, it's stable, calm and under control,'' assured Tucakovic, noting that this year a firefighter tragically died near Orasac close to Dubrovnik, as did a civilian on the island of Hvar. He once again called on people to follow all of the proper instructions in regard to fires.

Mines which are still sitting under the ground are also a particular problem for Croatian wildfires

When extinguishing the fires in more rural, difficult to access areas of scrubland, firefighters are worryingly still coming across remaining mines, which poses an additional, potentially extremely serious problem.

When asked whether at the end of this year's summer tourist season, someone should be held responsible for all of the problems which arose from slow canadair repairs and the like, Tucakovic replied that he can only say that a complete analysis of all of the interventions will be carried out, everything will be put down on paper and preparations for the next fire season will begin immediately. He also referred to the potentially devastating crime of arson, praising the police for doing their job very well, given the fact that a large number of criminals were discovered and dealt with this year as well.

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Friday, 10 June 2022

Fire Protection System, 22,000 Firefighters Ready For Fire Season

ZAGREB, 10 June 2022 - Croatia's fire protection system is ready for the coming fire season, and more than 22,000 firefighters across the country are equipped and ready to respond at any time, it was said at the Firefighter Operations Command in Divulje outside Split on Friday.

A firefighting exercise, testing the abilities of firefighters for the coming wildfire season, was held at Divulje, and the event was also attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

He said that Croatia has fire forces also for operations in extreme weather conditions and is helping other countries as well, mentioning in that context assistance provided last year to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey and Greece as well as a few months ago to Slovenia.

"Those are examples of our homeland security system and of a wish to contribute to fire prevention, not only at home but elsewhere as well," he said.

Chief Fire Commander Slavko Tucaković said that the Firefighter Operations Command in Divulje would start operating on 13 June while on 23 June firefighters would move from the mainland to the coastal area and islands to help local residents and tourists feel safe in the event of fires.

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Thursday, 7 April 2022

Firefighters Have To Brace For Tough Season

ZAGREB, 7 April 2022 - Croatian fire chief Slavko Tucaković said on Thursday that the national firefighting system should brace for a tough season.

Addressing a conference of firefighters in Opatija, Tucaković said that the weather forecasts for the spring and the summer show that a very tough season could be expected.

He recalled that in the past period, apart from battling blazes and wildfires, firefighters had been engaged in operations in the aftermath of the two devastating quakes in Zagreb and Sisak County in 2020.

In Zagreb, they participated in 6,000 operations in the wake of the tremor, and in 14,500 interventions following the 29 December 2020 earthquake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County.

Firefighters were thus engaged in rescue operations when 30 people were pulled from rubble or evacuated from damaged buildings in the area of Petrinja, according to Tucaković.


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Thursday, 19 August 2021

Less Wildfires in First 8 Months Than 5-Year Average, But Intensifying Lately

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - Chief firefighting commander Slavko Tucaković informed the government on Thursday that in the first eight months of 2021, 2,389 fires had occurred in areas of combustible vegetation, or 8% less than the five-year average, however in the last eight weeks, the number of wildfires has risen by 25%.

The area covered by blazes in the first eight months has been 12,207 hectares, or 54% less than the five-year average.

However, extreme weather conditions have fuelled wildfires in the last eight weeks, and as a result the area consumed by those fires has increased by 385%.

The highest number of blazes in rural areas has been registered in Šibenik-Knin County, seven to date.

The biggest wildfire this years has been in the Split hinterland, when it burnt an area 1,643 hectares large near the village of Seget Gornji.

Lion's share of wildfires put out within four hours

Tucaković said that as many as 87% of wildfires in the Croatian coastal area had been extinguished within four hours, which could be interpreted as evidence of the good engagement of firefighting services.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that firefighters' interventions in the coastal and Karst regions lasted 2.23 hours on average this year, while in 2020 this average was 3.37 hours.

Croatia's firefighting planes have been deployed abroad to put out fires six times so far this year: once in Greece and once in Turkey and four times in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The allocated funds in the state budget for firefighting services stand at HRK 104 million (€14 million) and so far this year 62 million kuna (€8.3 million) has been disbursed, Defence Minister Mario Banožić said. 

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Wednesday, 4 August 2021

President Zoran Milanović Visits Wildfire Sites at Seget Gornji

ZAGREB, 4 Aug, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović, accompanied by Chief Firefighting Commander Slavko Tucaković, visited on Wednesday by helicopter locations devastated by wildfires at Seget Gornji, inland from the southern coastal town of Trogir, the President's Office said in a press release.

Before visiting the fire sites, Milanović discussed the situation at wildfire locations at Seget Gornji and in Mirlović in Šibenik-Knin County with local firefighting officials.

Firefighting representatives briefed the president about the efforts firefighters had made so far, and the assistance provided by the Croatian Army.

The president thanked the firemen and all those who helped put out the wildfires.

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