Wildfire in Croatia

Wildfire in Croatia

16 July 2011

MODIS (Aqua) satellite image of fires burning on Brac Island on 15 July 2011 (resolution: 250m)

False colour MODIS (Aqua) satellite image of fires burning on Brac Island on 15 July 2011 (resolution: 250m)

Over 2,300 hectares of old pine wood have vanished in a wild fire that hit the Croatian island Brac on Thursday 14 July 2011 in the afternoon. Some 200 tourists were evacuated from the island’s western village of Bobovisca as the fire threatened the houses. Local fire brigade officials have confirmed on Friday that all the houses were defended during the night. The wild fire hit the island at the peak of the tourist season when temperatures have stayed at 40 degrees Celsius for days that made the fire fighter’s job additionally tough.

 Update by FOCUS Agency

 Major forest fire rages on Croatian holiday island

16 July 2011 | 14:38 |

 Zagreb.Firefighters were battling Saturday to put out a major forest fire that has been raging on the Croatian holiday island of Brac for the past three days, officials said, cited by AFP.

 The fire, that broke out on Thursday in a bay on the island’s southwestern side, has ravaged some 4,000 hectares (9,884 acres) of pine forest, olive trees and other plants, national rescue services said. Dozens of sheep also died in the blaze, local media reported.

 The fire caused power failures on Friday when some 230 people, mostly tourists, were evacuated from parts of the southern island at their own request.

 Thick smoke from the blaze also spread to the nearby port of Split.

 “So far we managed to protect all houses and people, while yesterday firemen saved one person who was trying to gather sheep,” firefighting official Tomislav Vuko told HINA news agency.

 Some 300 rescuers, whose efforts were made more difficult by strong winds spreading the blaze, were also using fire-fighting planes and helicopters.

 Local media reported that a barbeque by tourists on the island is suspected to have sparked the forest fire — the largest on Brac in years.

 Croatia has gone bent under a heat wave since early July with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

 The island of Brac is one of the most popular holiday destinations on Croatia’s Adriatic coast.

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