Monday, 18 July 2022

Wildfire Near Šibenik Declared Extinguished

ZAGREB, 18 July 2022 - The wildfire that broke out in the Zaton and Raslinje areas of Šibenik-Knin County last Wednesday, was declared extinguished on Monday morning, the county 112 emergency call center said.

The fire spread over an estimated 3,300 hectares of land, consuming grass, underbrush, woods, and agricultural crops.

Commenting on the fire at a press conference in Šibenik, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that 30 houses, several cars and boats, and three agricultural machines had burnt down in the conflagration.

"The damage is being assessed. We need to be aware that the climate in Europe and the world is changing and that climate change is happening faster than expected. Every year, temperatures are higher and drought periods are longer," Božinović said.

He said that state-of-the-art vehicles have been purchased through EU funds and handed over to the fire service for deployment in the field.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

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.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Božinović: We Are Prepared For Wildfire Season

ZAGREB, 14 July 2022 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Thursday that we were ready for the wildfire season and the services did a good job at the site of Wdnesday's wildfire near Šibenik.

"We were prepared for the wildfire season and services did a good job. We have to be aware that climate change is the main change that is occurring and will continue in the years to come."

Božinović underscored that the Mediterranean, along with California, is one of the world's two biggest hotspots when it comes to global warming.

Speaking about the wildfires that hit the Šibenik area on Wednesday, Božinović said that forces in the Šibenik and Vodice hinterland gradually increased, depending on how the situation developed, primarily due to unexpected changes in wind directions.

The minister specified that a total of 350 firefighters were engaged on Wednesday, mostly from Šibenik-Knin County, and half of them from six other counties, as well as 50 members of the Croatian Army and 75 police officers.

Asked how many fire-fighting aircraft Croatia has at its disposal, Božinović replied that there are currently four Canadair planes and three air-tractors available.

"By 23 July, we will have one more air-tractor, and by 30 July, one more air-tractor and one Canadair aircraft." This means that as of 1 August, Croatia should have five Canadairs and five air-tractors at its disposal. Another Canadair, which is being overhauled, should be ready by the end of the year,'' he specified.

Božinović on EPPO action: I encourage the institutions to protect the interests of Croatia and the EU

Asked to comment on the latest action by the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the PNUSKOK - police anti-corruption office regarding alleged bribes and the rigging of the tender process for the extension and reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant in Varaždin, Božinović said that all institutions have a free hand in enforcing the law.

For more, check out our politics section.

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. 

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 2 August 2021

Fire in Seget Gornji Prevents Planes From Landing at Split Airport

Updated article on the morning of August 3.

August 2, 2021 - A fire in Seget Gornji, in the hills of Trogir, broke out in the morning. Although the houses in the neighborhood are not in danger, the smoke is affecting the air traffic of the Split airport.

A large fire in Seget Gornji broke out around 10.30 am, reports 24sata. It blazed along the road. As we find out, the fire is spreading carried by the wind, but the houses are not endangered for now. All available forces from the fire brigades from Solin, Vranjica, Kaštela, Trogir and Seget Vranjica are on the ground. Police regulate traffic on DC 58 and drive alternately in one lane so that firefighters can use the other lane unhindered. The Split-Dalmatia Police Department appeals to drivers to be careful. Two canadairs are helping the firefighters in the field, and two 'air tractors' are expected to arrive at any moment.

''There are over 100 firefighters and 25 vehicles on the field, and help to firefighters on the field is still arriving. Two canadairs are also helping with the extinguishing. Maquis and low vegetation are burning, and the fire is spreading in the southeast direction'', the county fire commander, Ivan Kovačević, told 24sata.

fire-in-seget-gornji.jpeg

(Photo: 24sata reader)

As we have learned from Pero Bilas, the assistant director of Split Airport, due to the fire near the airport, several planes were sent to alternative runways, points out Dalmatinski Portal. Resnik, says Bilas, was not closed, but there was a disturbance in air traffic. Despite the efforts of all fire brigade units present in the area to control the fire, the smoke continues to be a problem.

''There will be a delay in landing and then taking off. The planes take off from the Split airport'', says Bilas.

Canadairs are constantly flying over because it is the shortest way to the fire.

More will follow...

For more news on Croatia, click here.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Fires in Croatia Will Be Spotted By 500 Fire Observers and 96 Cameras

July 10, 2021 - During the season, 500 fire watchers and 96 cameras will try to spot fires in Croatia as they arise in order to put them out as soon as possible. And Croatian Forests is investing additional funds in fire prevention and public education.

One of the main threats during the summer season are the fires in Croatia that occur mainly in Dalmatia and its islands, but as reported by HRT Vijesti, 500 observers and 96 cameras will be the main resources to prevent them from spreading and can be put out as soon as possible.

Mr. Ante Vedrić works as an observer of Croatian forests on a fourteen-meter observation post next to the Musapstan Forest Park in the suburbs of Zadar. During the fire season, the forest is monitored from June 1 to September 30 in shifts from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The cameras are also on for 24 hours.

''The observer immediately reports to the fire center, the cameras record it and then they list the firefighters and our observers have a work diary and they record it every beginning of the fire, the end of the fire if the Canadian drops water bombs and we count it'', said Croatian Forest Observer Ante Vedrić .

However, fire prevention begins even before the season, so the Zadar foresters in Žmirići in the Nin-Kožino economic unit performed fire-fighting forest clearing.

''On fire prevention, we primarily work on pruning the lower branches, removing dry branches in the immediate vicinity of roads, cleaning belts, grinding small mass and thus reduce the possibility of forest fires and spread'', said Zadar Forestry Manager Mislav Maršić.

Last year, 200 square kilometers of forest were burned. The wood mass itself is worth ten million kuna, but the damage, due to the general useful functions of forests such as oxygen generation or reducing soil erosion, climbs up to one hundred million. That is why Hrvatske šume financed an additional four cameras this year, and a new tender for the provision of video surveillance services is being prepared.

''The four-year contract costs us about twenty million kuna, but that money is nothing because we heard what the damage is, what damage occurs when the forest burns so all the investments we have and that is from 75 to 100 million kuna as the average in the past four years are actually small investments considering how much fires in Croatia are prevented and how much forests are saved'', said the director of the Forestry Department of Croatian Forests Krešimir Žagar.

''Today we have 96 cameras in four counties: Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia, Šibenik-Knin, and Zadar, where the cooperation of Croatian Forests with the fire brigades of the counties that Croatian Forests finances a certain part of the duty'', said the Chief Fire Chief of the Croatian Fire Brigade. community Slavko Tucakovic.

In Hrvatske šume, they claim that despite the new cameras, they will always need observers who earn four and a half thousand kunas a month. In addition, foresters will buy firefighters new special vehicles for forest fires because the age of their fleet is 23 years.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Number Of Wildfires 16% Down From 2019, Area Consumed By Fires Larger

ZAGREB, Aug 17, 2020 - Since the start of 2020, a total of 39,111 hectares of land have been consumed by 4,693 fires, which is a 16% drop in the number of wildfires, however, the area consumed by fires is 20% larger, the Croatian Firefighting Association has said.

Statistics for the coastal and karst regions are even higher, with a total of 3,294 fires having been reported by August 15. This is an increase of about 2% compared to last year, but a total of 30,455 hectares of land were consumed, as much as 69% more than in 2019.

Chief firefighting commander Slavko Tucakovic has said that the fire season is still underway and that all forces are still active in the field. Thunderstorms have been the most frequent cause of this year's fires, he said.

Apart from putting out fires, firefighters have also had more than 500 interventions to remove the consequences of recent rainstorms in Zagreb and neighbouring counties.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Fires in Dubravica Near Skradin Finally Extinguished After Four Days

While the situation is far from what it was during summer 2017 on the Dalmatian coast, Croatia has so far seen 5,300 fires before the end of July, which is more than were reported during the whole of 2018.

The fire which broke out in Dubravica close to Skradin in Šibenik-Knin County has now finally been extinguished, after four long days of fighting the steadily progressing flames.

As SibenikIN/VB writes on the 11th of August, 2019, the potentially devastating fire which broke out and very quickly took hold in the Dubravica area near Skradin in a thick pine forest on Thursday afternoon, and then broke out once again on Friday was finally completely extinguished this morning at 09:32, according to the Operations and Communications Centre of the Šibenik police.

The inaccessible, wild terrain and the dense pine forests made it extremely easy for the fire to spread among the dry wood and leaves under the heat of the sun, but also made it very difficult for firefighters to do their work properly on foot, so yesterday, an airtractor made sure to properly soak the burned out area in the hills near Skradin so as to prevent any further spreading of the flames.

The Croatian Air Force were called in to assist the situation on Thursday and Friday as well, with about thirty hours of flight time and about 370 water bombs, or about 2000 tons of water, dropped on the burned area.

On the first day, the fire was extinguished by four firefighting aircraft, while on Friday, six Croatian Air Force firefighting aircraft were involved in controlling and extinguishing the flames.

According to initial estimates, more than 7.5 hectares of land were burned, and members of local PUPs and DVDs and members of the Šibenik SEC participated in the firefight.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more information on fires in Croatia, and much more.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Fire Engines and Equipment from Ozalj in Arabia

A touch of Croatia in a far away land.

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