With Improved Prevention Measures, No Major Wildfires in Croatia This Summer

Total Croatia News

So far, firefighting aircraft have intervened just ten times.

The wildfire season in Croatia has been fairly quiet this year. According to official data of the Ministry of Defense, since 1 June the firefighting aircraft were used to extinguish just ten fires: six in Šibenik-Knin County and two fires each in Zadar County and Split-Dalmatia County. These wildfires were mostly minor and were all quickly localized, reports Jutarnji List on July 26, 2018.

On the other hand, last year was one of the worse in recent history. It brought us a number of large fires, includes a major wildfire which came to the edge of the town of Split, as well as several huge wildfires near Makarska.

One of the reasons for this year’s good news is the weather, which brought us relatively rainy spring and summer in the coastal areas. However, it should be noted that large-scale prevention measures taken before the season have also brought results. Forest and fire roads have been cleared, and huge resources have been invested in early detection of wildfires.

The most important technical measure was the establishment of the Firefighting Operational Centre at Divulje near Split, which monitors all the potential crisis situations in the Adriatic parts of the country. Orders are no longer arriving directly from Zagreb. The centre receives all the necessary information in real time.

Thanks to cameras placed at the positions which offer the best views of the most vulnerable areas – such as Učka, Lička Plješivica, Srđ, and Korčula – information about wildfires are immediately transmitted to the centre. These cameras can recognize a fire on the basis of changes in the image: as soon as the slightest smoke or fire is detected, the system sends an alarm message. Their range is about ten kilometres, and they cover a 360-degree view.

In order to detect fires as soon as possible, the armed forces have also deployed unmanned aerial vehicles in the areas of Šibenik-Knin, Zadar and Split-Dalmatia Counties.

All this demonstrates that the Croatian authorities have understandably focused their efforts on detecting fires as soon as possible. When a fire is detected, the tactic is simple – all forces available are immediately sent to extinguish it. This includes both the aerial forces, and well as ground forces when the conditions allow it.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Krešimir Žabec).


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