Police Confirm That Fire on Zrće Was Caused by Human Factor

Lauren Simmonds

Yesterday, we reported on the fire that broke out on the famous Zrće beach in Novalja on the island of Pag. The fire started in a nearby pine forest, it appears that the nobody was hurt, that facilities are safe, and that everyone was successfully evacuated via a praiseworthy joint effort from police and firemen. 

Wildfires do happen, especially on the Croatian coast. The dry trees in the characteristic dense pine forests can easily get too hot and spark a fire, but as we’ve seen before with the devastating fires in previous years down in Dalmatia, they can also have a human cause. The cause of the Zrće fire, sadly appears to have a darker side to it.

As Morski writes on the 16th of July, 2019, Željko Prša, the deputy chief of police, told RTL that the police, with the help of expert witnesses from the Ivan Vučetić Centre for Criminal Investigation, found the location from which the big fire which began in the early hours of the morning on the 16th of July, began. It unfortunately seems that the fire on Zrće beach was caused by a human factor, more precisely by an open flame.

It seems that it was most likely that it was a cigarette butt that was thrown twenty or thirty metres from the sea near Caska beach. Prša said that no arrests have yet been made, but that they have a lot of eyewitnesses and the police are still talking with them.

It was found that the Zrće fire was caused by a human factor, but it still needs to be determined whether it was intentional or simply accidental. The fire started from the grass, but the strong bura unfortunately blew the flames around, giving strength to the fire, and quickly saw it set the pine forest close to Zrće beach alight.

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