STA, 20 July 2022 - The fire raging in Italy has spread to the Slovenian Kras region in the west. Four villages are in danger and are being evacuated. People are being urged to leave the villages of Sela na Krasu, Hudi Log, Korita na Krasu and Nova Vas, the regional centre of the Civil Protection for northern Primorska said in a press release.
A large pool from which helicopters had been taking out water to fight the fire caught on fire as well. All rescue forces of the region have been activated. Five firefighters sought medical assistance because of light burns and respiratory problems.
As the wind changed direction, the situation in the fire zone quickly escalated. According to Civil Protection commander Srečko Šestan, almost 600 people are fighting the fire.
Additional forces from other parts of the country were called in as the fire started approaching villages.
Fuuuck up!!! Par metrovv pic.twitter.com/zLUA7iZuPy— Roko (@Istrianer) July 20, 2022
V živo s terena - helikopterja Slovenske vojske že nudita pomoč @URS_ZR in gasilcem. Visoka usposobljenost za opravljanje osnovnega poslanstva, obrambe domovine, Slovenski vojski omogoča tako visko odzivnost in pripravljenost. #zadomovino pic.twitter.com/WQ3hgufSFT— Slovenska vojska (@Slovenskavojska) July 19, 2022
Firefighters from all over the country are doing their best to protect the houses in the villages and above all the people, the regional centre of the Civil Protection for northern Primorska said.
Web portal 24ur.com reported that two Italian helicopters and two Italian Canadair water bombers were helping out as well.
Ervin Čurlič from the regional centre of the Civil Protection told 24ur.com that three houses on the Slovenian side of the border were burning.
Fire is also again raging on both sides of the road between the villages of Mirna and Lokvica, so the road is closed for traffic.
Firefighters on the ground are being assisted by police and the army from the air, but their efforts are being hampered by smoke, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec said as he visited the area.
He asserted that the units were well trained and experienced and praised international cooperation.
However, he noted there were logistical problems with water supply, which has to be brought to the site in tanks to fill the pools which helicopters use to take out water. Šestan said there were no water shortages for now.
Miren-Kostanjevica Mayor Mauricij Humar said his municipality would help the people in the affected areas and expressed hope that firefighters would be able to protect the houses. If necessary, temporary accommodation will be provided to the evacuees.