At least 100 tourists forced to evacuate in Montenegro fires

July 17, 2017 - 8:57 am

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — At least 100 tourists have been forced to evacuate from a coastal area in Montenegro that is being threatened by wildfires that are also raging along the Adriatic sea coastline in neighboring Croatia, authorities said Monday.

Fueled by strong winds and dry weather, the fire on the Lustica peninsula in southern Montenegro has spread near to homes and camping zones. The navy stepped in to help evacuate the area by sea, officials said.

Emergency services said strong winds are hampering firefighters' efforts to save the houses.

"The fire has spread over the road, an entire hill is burning," emergency official Maksim Mandic told the state Montenegrin TV. "It is impossible to put out the fire completely in such winds."

Further north in Croatia, firefighters have also been battling a number of fires along the Adriatic coast. Several hundred acres of pine forests and low shrubbery have been burnt, with the winds sending the blaze spreading in several directions.

Fires around Srinjene, near the coastal town of Split forced the tourists to leave the area, which was left without electricity or water, Croatian TV said. There, firefighting planes could not fly due to the winds and turbulence, and a local road was closed.

Around the town of Zadar, planes were used because some areas remain mined from the war of the 1990s, the state TV report said.

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