250 firefighters battling large forest fire outside Makarska

250 firefighters battling large forest fire outside Makarska

22 September 2008

published by macedoniaonline.eu

Croatia — On Sunday morning, some 250 firefighters were still trying to put out a large forest fire that had broken out just outside the southern coastal resort of Makarska.

The local firefighters have received reinforcements from elsewhere in the country, and 50 army troops have been sent in to help contain the conflagration. Seventy fire trucks, a Canadair firefighting plane, three Air Tractors and three helicopters are assisting in the effort, which is being hampered by strong winds, fire authorities said.

A partial evacuation of primarily elderly and infirm people and children from Makarska’s suburb of Veliko Brdo began at 9:40 pm on Saturday. About 150 people have been put up in a primary school gym and a day care centre, the mayor said.

Interior Minister Berislav Roncevic arrived at the site during the night. He was accompanied by the Director of the National Search and Rescue Agency, Damir Trut, Police Director Marijan Benko, Fire
Marshall Mladen Jurin, regional fire chief Drazen Glavina and other political and fire officials.

The fire broke out on the evening of 19 September and was most likely caused by sparking from power transmission lines. Four firefighters have been slightly injured, while several have sought medical attention for smoke inhalation. Over 700 hectares of pine wood and olive groves have been consumed in the conflagration.

Owing to rough terrain and winds blowing over 100 kilometres an hour, the firefighters have failed to bring the fire under control. 

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