Why Are There No Major Fires in Istria?

Total Croatia News

Data indicates that Istrian fire fighters are keeping the situation under control.

While Dalmatia is being tormented this summer with numerous wildfires, the situation on the northern part of the coast is much better. There are fewer fires, and even those that do start are quickly extinguished, reports RTL on August 28, 2017.

In addition to always being available to help their colleagues in Dalmatia, Istrian fire-fighters also have a unique fire fighting system. They are all networked, have field surveillance cameras and an agreement on joint interventions with their counterparts from the neighbouring Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, as well as with fire fighters from Slovenia and Italy.

In the last three months in Istria, there were about 170 outdoor fires, but just one spread to a wider area. About 10 hectares of dense vegetation was burnt and fire fighting aircraft were called into action.

The numbers indicate that Istrian fire fighters keep the situation on the ground under control. “We are grateful for the system we have. At present, 1,340 people are part of the system, including 7 professional units with 230 fire fighters, 35 voluntary fire fighting associations with 1,050 fire fighters, 40 employees of the Croatian Forests public company, 20 seasonal fire fighters, and 197 vehicles,” says Dino Kozlevac, the fire fighting commander for Istrian County.

And they are currently buying new vehicles worth 40 million kunas. Thanks to a unified public procurement process, they will save 20 percent. “We are planning this year, together with all of the Istrian fire departments, to purchase 40 to 45 vehicles, says the commander of the Pula Fire Brigade Klaudio Karlović.

Administrative boundaries between towns and municipalities in Istria do not exist for fire fighters. When a fire breaks out, everybody helps everybody. The job is made easier for them by surveillance cameras. About 30 cameras, in which seven million kunas were invested, monitor all the critical areas, covering ​​3,500 square kilometres. There is also a drone flying over Rovinj, and it has proved so useful that additional drones will be implemented throughout the system.

“Citizens do not have to worry. We inspect all the critical areas four times a day,” says Petar Znahor, the president of the Pula Voluntary Fire Fighting Association.

The new building of the Voluntary Fire Fighting Association in Medulin cost 4.5 million kunas. It has 60 members and equipment necessary to reach all surrounding areas, with the exception of the top of the Učka mountain. There is even a decision by the local municipality that they are entitled to 25 kunas for each hour spent fighting fires, but no one has ever requested the money.

Translated from RTL.


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