Over the past week or so, much of Southern and Central Europe has been under threat from hundreds of bushfires across several countries, some near major cities, with the worst being in Northern Portugal, Coastal parts of Montenegro and an inferno over Southern Croatia. Above image via Damira Kalajzic
Over the past 48-72 hours, the City of Split, located in Southern Croatia along the Dalmatian Coast, has been under threat from a series of catastrophic wildfires merging into an inferno. Over the weekend, 12 individual wildfires developed just inland of Split over the Ranges before merging into 1 humungous inferno which has burnt more than 11,000 acres of land, and everything else in its path to the ground. This includes many businesses and homes. This is equal to 45 square kilometres or the entire landscape between Brisbane, Ipswich, Jimboomba and Boonah. Late on Monday, several hundred firefighters along with army assistance were able to overpower the fire and prevent it from entering the City of Split and thankfully by Tuesday the situation had dramatically improved, almost as fast as it began, with the dry winds subsiding noticeably.
There are mixed reports of the total impact of the fire on human lives, but its believed that there have been no fatalities. its believed that sixteen people have been injured but nothing too serious. For the total size of the fire and where it was located, this is quite incredible. Over the next several days, despite warm temperatures into the low 30’s, wind conditions should remain favourable for any continuing fire activity to be taken control of and extinguished, so the overall toll of the fire(s) isn’t expected to rise any further apart from official inspections.
A lady watches over the water as the hillside of Split burns. Image via Damira Kalajzic
Damira Kalajzic, who has credit for all of the fire photos in this article / blog, can be quoted in her Facebook post saying these powerful words… “See this sight on your own eyes and to record the camera these moments, it’s not easy. When you see from a distance how the fire literally swallows human homes, when you see how much it is out of control, your heart tightens and your eyes fill with tears… without words.”
Click below to view more of the photos.
Several other fires were also noted across much of Southern and Central Europe with a large fire reaching the town of Castagniers, near Nice in France. A large fire swept through scrubland near Bonifacio on the Mediterranean Island of Corsica. In Italy, a pine forest in the town of Ostia near Rome was burning, while in Northern Portugal, just a month after catastrophic fires swept the East… more than 1,400 firefighters assisted by helicopters, water bombers and emergency services battled to contain 3 very large blazes. In Montenegro, forest fires along the Lustica Peninsula have spread inland forcing the evacuations of several tourism regions. Wind conditions have not helped the situation improve over Montenegro with firefighters still battling the blazes.
Satellite imagery from NASA showing the fires along the Adriatic Coastline in Montenegro and Croatia