Firefighters battled wildfires that were spreading in the area south of the Croatian Adriatic city of Dubrovnik late on Tuesday, with strong southerly winds preventing deployment of aircraft and landmines exploding, local media reported.
“A hurricane southern wind blowing in the Dubrovnik-Neretva canton has fuelled a widespread open space fire in the area of the Dubrovnik Plat community,” the Croatian Firefighters Community (HVZ) said on its website.
The area affected by fire is just 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from the medieval Mediterranean town of Dubrovnik, a top tourist destination in Croatia.
About 130 firefighters from across the country were battling the fires, while two Canadair planes that had been deployed since morning at nearby locations were forced to return because of the strong winds, the HVZ said.
“At the moment, the buildings are not threatened,” it said.
Local Dubrovnik portal Du List reported that the fires caused detonations of landmines left from the 1990s war on a nearby hill Petraca, but HVZ could not confirm that.
Another bushfire occurred in the Split-Dalmatian county on Tuesday, with 65 firefighters and three aircraft battling the flames.
Also on Tuesday, two people drowned and several were injured in neighboring Montenegro when strong southern winds hit its coast, port authorities in the towns of Ulcinj and Petrovac said.
Europe is battling the effects of scorching weather, with June having been the hottest month on record in the 174-year history of temperature monitoring. July appears to be on track to break that record.