Croatian Firefighters: Heroes. Thank You.

Total Croatia News


While the politicians argue, the true heroes of Croatia catch some sleep by the side of the road on the Makarska Riviera on June 19, 2017.

(With thanks for photos to Facebook page – Niko Kao Hajduk iz Splita 1950)

One of the sad constants of life in Dalmatia each summer in my 15 years there has been the outbreak of forest fires. Some of them are caused naturally, several deliberately.

My first experience of them was back in 2003, as I was flying back from my job in Hiroshima, when I was reading an article in the International Herald Tribune, which specifically mentioned Jelsa. The devastation in central Hvar was there to see. Terrible fires occurred elsewhere, with the island of Brac a few years ago, and the horrible fires on Korcula and Peljesac last year. A popular volunteer fireman was killed battling blazes between Ivan Dolac and Sveta Nedjelja almost a decade ago. This year marks a tragic anniversary, as it’s been ten years since twelve firemen died fighting a blaze on Kornat island on August 30, 2007.

And yet, despite all the danger and all the risks, there has been one other constant over the years – the heroic response of Croatia’s firefighters, who put their lives on the line time and time again to tackle these blazes. 

Heroes all. 

Two large blazes on the Makarska Riviera have brought another Herculean effort from these brave firemen. And these pictures tell their own story.


Last year, after the Korcula fire, I found a fireman who agreed to be interviewed, since I thought it was a topic that would not only be in the public interest, but also an opportunity to air publicly the obstacles and difficulties Croatia’s firemen face, with the hope that perhaps such exposure could bring some change. The interview never happened for various reasons, but I would be keen to do it again, so if you are a fireman who would like to voice your experiences (anonymously and in Croatian is fine) either by email or direct interview, please contact us at [email protected] 

Thank you for what you do.



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