We’ve been updating the coverage on the fires in Dalmatia yesterday and through the night here. Now that there’s no immediate danger to Split anymore, we bring you an overview of the current situation. You can see all the affected sites in the wider Split area on this map:
All fires in Split have been successfully put out by 2 AM by the immense efforts of firemen and local volunteers, including Torcida. The air is still full of ash and smoke, but all affected neighbourhoods were saved by the quick reaction of the firefighting forces and everyone who came to help.
Podstrana and Strožanac are currently out of immediate danger, as the fire has changed direction. Both areas have seen a sleepless night. The wind kept blowing and changing direction of the fire; people have been defending the first houses in the line of flames for hours. As there was no available equipment for everyone present, people have been using branches, rakes, shovels, and everything else they could put their hands on. Buckets of water were passed from hand to hand. One Canadair departed for Strožanac and Podstrana from Zemunik at 6:15 this morning.
At 11:15, the fire in Srinjine was closing in on first houses and is currently at a 50m distance. The wind picked up again, changing direction constantly, reports Index. Fires in Kučine and Mravinci are also still burning.
By this moment, more than 4500 hectares of pine forest, underbrush and olive groves have burned down. Numerous houses, other buildings and vehicles suffered heavy damage. Around 80 people have been slightly injured, mostly firemen. They all received medical attention on time.
The source of the fire is not yet known, and the investigation will be carried out after all the fires are put out.
(Žrnovnica on the night of July 17)
Due to the fire, the following roads are still closed:
The Solin-Klis (DC1) highway in both directions
County road Tromilla – Šibenik (ŽC3277)
County road Žrnovnica – Srinjine (ŽC6142)
County road Mravinci – Žrnovnica (ŽC6270)
The county road Konjevrate-Unešić (ŽC6092) has one lane open.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković arrived in Split before 9:00. He attended the meeting of the Crisis Staff, joined by Ante Sanader, Pavle Kalinić, minister Krstičević and the Mayor of Split, Andro Krstulović Opara. Plenković adressed the media, making sure to first thank the firefighters, the armed forces and the police, DUZS and the residents who defended their houses and villages. He also thanked the 4th Guard Brigade and Torcida, stating the system was functioning very well the whole time. “According to the information we got, 30 hours after the fires broke out, they were put under control. Thanks to the help of Canadairs and Airtractors, the fire is now being localised and put out. This is one of 14 fires that broke out in the Split-Dalmatia County in the last three days. At this moment, 159 fire vehicles are in the field, as well as more than 700 firemen and army members. The firemen have given their absolute maximum. Many have arrived from Zagreb and other counties. There’s a solidarity of fire departments that works on the state level. I believe we’ll learn some lessons after this fire, one that was interesting because it reached Split, and that we’ll improve all the mechanisms of department coordination”, said the PM. He is currently visiting the affected sites.
Photo credit: Damira Kalajzic