Serbia, Italy Help Montenegro Fight Wildfire

Serbia, Italy Help Montenegro Fight Wildfire

22 August 2008

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Montenegro — Serbian and Italian water bombers have been drafted in to help Montenegrin emergency services tackle a wildfire near the resort of Budva which has injured several firefighters.

The fire on Spas Hill near Budva has been localised and all the residents and buildings nearby are safe.

Serbia sent specialised firefighting planes over Thursday night to Montenegro fight the wildfire along the Adriatic coast.

On Friday morning, Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic thanked the Serbian and Italian governments.

Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic earlier said in a telephone discussion with his Montengrin counterpart that Serbia will allow the small Adriatic state to use all of its equipment that could help localise the fire and protect the people in the area.

Several firefighters of the Budva Protection and Rescue Service suffered minor injuries while battling the flames.

Service chief Zdravko Sljukić said that no property in the area is at risk either, but that the effort to put out the fire has been made more difficult by the terrain and wind.

The fire broke out at about 1530 CEST (1330 GMT) on Thursday in the community of Komosevina near Budva and spread to Spas Hill, threatening to damage homes nearby initially, until firefighters intervened.

“Everyone came to our help, people who transported water in tankers arrived, the communal companies gave all the help they could offer, and water works also enlisted its technical capacities,” Sljukic said.

An hour after the fire broke out another was seen on Ostrog Hill, above the community of Maini, on the other side of the city.

Budva Mayor Rajko Kuljaca said that it is possible that the fires were the work of arsonists, and an investigation is ongoing.

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