STA, 10 August 2022 - A fire that broke out during Monday night under Socerb hill in the Koper municipality near the border with Italy has been brought under control, but has not yet been put out, authorities said on Wednesday morning. Given how bad it looked at a certain point yesterday, the situation is relatively good now, they added.
A total of 130 firefighters remain on the ground as the extinguishing effort has been taken over by the day shift, David Hrvatin, the head of the night shift with the Koper Fire Department, told the STA.
The night shift included some 130 firefighters and 40 vehicles, the Defence Ministry said.
Support from the air hit pause during last night after helicopters and water bombers participated in the effort throughout Tuesday, but aerial firefighting will again play a major role today.
Two Slovenian Armed Forces helicopters have returned to the site this morning to help put out the fire, and a Pilatus aircraft is expected too. A police helicopter will be monitoring the area with a thermal imaging camera.
Yesterday evening two hotspots were still active and the main cause for concern was the bora wind, but now the situation looks more promising.
About 15 hectares were on fire yesterday afternoon, shows data from the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration, but Hrvatin estimates the figure increased slightly towards the evening.
Koper Mayor Aleš Bržan said in a press statement on Tuesday that the drinking water supply on the Slovenian coast was not yet at risk. The Civil Protection indeed redirected some water tank trucks to the fire site that were initially meant to bring the much-needed extra supplies to the municipality, but the coastal area was then soon provided with additional trucks, he said.