More Fire on Hvar, as Stari Grad Rubbish Dump Ablaze

Total Croatia News


Dalmatia continues to burn, with the latest outbreak in the rubbish dump in Stari Grad late on July 22, 2017.

It is a scene I have seen a few times in my 15 years in Jelsa. Sitting on the terrace under cloudless blue skies enjoying the gentle breeze while overlooking one of Dalmatia’s prettiest harbours.

And then, a low-level cloud comes into view, hugging the line of the top of the mountain. 

After a moment, the realisation that it is not a cloud, but smoke from a fire. 

It happened a few weeks ago, almost directly in front of us. We immediately called the local fire brigade who informed us that their men were already on the scene near Ivan Dolac, and they successfully extinguished the fire during the night. 

Last night, a different cloud, higher than the hilltop and taking up much more of the sky. It was beautiful in a way, this cloud coming over the town in the dark night sky. But we knew it was no cloud, and this time the smoke had travelled quite some distance, all the way from the rubbish dump just outside Stari Grad. 

The dump, which is located no the right of the road from Stari Grad to Rudine and the Kabal Peninsula, caught fire about 20:00, and it seems to be under control, although it will probably burn for a few days. The new mayor of Stari Grad, himself a fireman, was on the scene. Mercifully, there is not much wind, and the fire does not seem to be affecting the air quality in the town. It was too dark to call in the Canadair planes last night, but they are due to be in action today. 

It is not the first time that one of Hvar’s four rubbish dumps has caught fire. The one near Brusje close to Hvar Town did so several years ago, and I will never forget seeing the smoke coming from the dump east of Jelsa back in 2007, a fire which has still not been totally extinguished in the depths of the dump. 

And with the power of the right lens, an amazing video of the fire taken from the old town by Maja Koljanin Eilat.

We will bring you updates on the fire as we get them. 

UPDATE 10:30

There are 30 firemen and 10 vehicles battling the blaze, which is now under control, and there is no need to call in the Canadairs for assistance. 

An email from a resident

Hi Paul and team, 
I live in Stari Grad and got to smell all the horrible smoke coming in the night through the open windows. I was aware of the fire happening in the rubbish dump. Now,  what I was not so aware of is the high risk that this implies :

Dioxin emissions from plastic burning
The most dangerous emissions can be caused by burning plastics containing organochlor-
based substances like PVC. When such plastics are burned, harmful quantities of
dioxins, a group of highly toxic chemicals are emitted. Dioxins are the most toxic to the
human organisms. They are carcinogenic and a hormone disruptor and persistent,
and they accumulate in our body-fat and thus mothers give it directly to their babies
via the placenta. Dioxins also settle on crops and in our waterways where they eventually
wind up in our food, accumulate in our bodies and are passed on to our children.

Most likely – as we don’t yet have a proper waste management – there are a lot of dangerous materials burning right now among which plastic…
So I’ve read the news 
and found out about the warning of our newly elected mayor, Skarpa. 

Gradonačelnik Starog Grada, Antonio Škarpa, već je ranije upozorio sugrađane da ukoliko dođe do promjene smjera vjetra i dim krene prema kućama, zatvore prozore i vrata, te ne izlaze ukoliko ne moraju, kako ne bi udisali nusprodukte gorenja smetlišta, dok se požar ne ugasi.

The Mayor of Stari Grad, Antonio Skarpa, has warned the citizens that if the wind direction changes and the smoke goes towards the houses, they should better close windows and doors, and not go out if they do not have so as not  to breathe the byproducts of the burning dump until the fire is over .

BUT WHO WILL INFORM TOURISTS????  I have just sent an email to the opcina (but today is Sunday!) and drop by the touristic office and – besides being surprised – they said they can inform tourists who go to enquire….Hmmm….I am not so sure this is enough efficient ….could you please, add to your article this warning???

Many thanks by a concerned and aware resident.


Raffaella Catani


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment