The Latest: Portugal starting to bring fires under control
Jul. 18, 2017
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in Europe (all times local):
Portuguese emergency services say they are gradually bringing under control a spate of wildfires that erupted after temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Authorities say cooler temperatures Tuesday are allowing firefighters to get the upper hand over the blazes, which scorch Portuguese woodland every summer.
The Civil Protection Agency says almost 1,700 firefighters are tackling eight large countryside blazes with the help of 20 water-dropping aircraft. It said seven other wildfires are being brought under control and 19 are almost out.
Most of the wildfires are in northern Portugal, where thick forests of pine and eucalyptus trees and steep ridges make firefighting especially hard.
Several thousand firefighters are on duty every summer.
Croatia's prime minister says wildfires that have threatened Split, a key port on the Adriatic coast, are now largely under control.
Andrej Plenkovic said after a meeting of the state crisis committee on Tuesday that about a dozen mostly abandoned houses along the coast have been burnt by the raging fires fueled by strong winds and dry weather.
Plenkovic says the situation has improved after the winds slowed down and planes were able to take off.
Authorities have said that the fires have destroyed hundreds of acres of pine forests, low shrubbery and olive groves along Croatia's coast at the height of the summer tourist season.
The fire caused panic in Split Monday evening after reaching its suburban areas.
Montenegrin state TV says the government has asked NATO to send two firefighting planes to help contain raging wildfires in the Adriatic country.
The report said the Western military alliance is checking which member country could provide the planes.
Wildfires have engulfed the Lustica peninsula amid strong winds and dry weather. More than 100 people have evacuated the areas around the coastal town of Tivat.
Smaller fires also have been reported throughout the coast.
Tiny Montenegro joined NATO earlier this year, defying Russia and pro-Russian opposition at home.
Croatian authorities say firefighters have battled throughout the night to contain raging wildfires that threatened a key port on the country's Adriatic coast.
Parts of the coastal town of Split were enveloped in thick smoke Tuesday after flames reached suburban areas the previous evening. Residents have joined firefighters to defend the houses and stop the fire from spreading.
Emergency services say some 80 people have been lightly injured. They say the situation has improved in the morning after firefighting planes took off and the wind slowed down.
In neighboring Montenegro to the south, authorities say they might have to evacuate a village on the Lustica peninsula. About 100 people already have been evacuated the area as fires spread.
Montenegro has asked for international help to fight the wildfires.
Hundreds of firefighters are working to extinguish a forest fire about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the French Riviera city of Nice, as unusually hot and dry weather has hit much of France.
Jean-Gabriel Delacroy of the Alpes-Maritime regional administration said Tuesday that the fire near Nice is "under control" but not yet over after breaking out Monday night.
Speaking on broadcaster Francetvinfo, Delacroy said three firefighters were lightly injured in the blaze, which consumed 120 hectares (about 300 acres) of forest and reached the town of Castagniers, inland from Nice. No homes have been hurt so far, he said.
Whipped up by Mediterranean winds, fires in recent days have also hit Provence and Corsica during the high summer tourist season.