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article imageFirefighting planes battle flames near Croatia's Dubrovnik

By AFP     Jul 20, 2017 in Environment

Firefighting planes were dispatched to battle a fresh blaze near Croatia's Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik on Thursday as scores of emergency personnel remained on duty further north.

Four planes were sent to the area near the border with Montenegro to prevent the spread of the fire, a defence ministry statement said.

Both Croatia and neighbouring Montenegro have been hit by forest fires along their Adriatic coastlines in recent days. In Montenegro, most of the fires were under control by Wednesday.

The fires on Montenegro's Lustica peninsula had forced the evacuation of more than 100 campers and threatened Tivat and neighbouring Herceg Novi and Kotor.

Further north, in Croatia, about a dozen wildfires broke out on Sunday in the villages surrounding the popular tourist destination of Split.

About 240 firefighters are still deployed in the area to keep the situation under control.

Nobody has been injured in the blazes, which have ravaged more than 4,500 hectares (11,100 acres) of olive trees, maquis and pines in Croatia.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic rejected previous speculation that the fires were caused by sparks from electrical power lines.

According to first police reports the blaze was started by "open flames," he said. A probe to establish the cause is ongoing.

The cause of the fires in Montenegro is not yet known.

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