Fires caused by a long drought are burning along Croatia’s Adriatic coast and its hinterland, ravaging pine forests and olive groves and threatening villages and roads. The latest weather report, forecasting a continuing heatwave without any prospect of rain in days to come and stronger winds, boded ill for fire-fighting efforts. Earlier yesterday, firemen managed to contain the largest fire near Kostrena, just south of the northern port of Rijeka, which had destroyed 120 hectares of pine forests and swept dangerously close to houses. Another fire near Metkovic in the south swept across 75 ha of pine trees and severed a local road. Croatia had been ravaged by over 500 fires this year, mostly during the warm and dry period since May, estimating the damage to total around 500 million croatian kuna ($59 million). The cabinet was expected to discuss the fires in its first session after the summer break yesterday.
(Information Source: Planet Ark/Reuters News Service, 25 August 2000)