22:21 / 14.11.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Croatia reports 50% increase in wildfires in 2022

A firefighting aircraft douses a wildfire

A firefighting aircraft douses a wildfire

Foto: Dusko Jaramaz / PIXSELL

Croatia has recorded a 50% increase in wildfires this year from 2021. This has also resulted in a 135% increase in land loss due to fires than the previous year. 

Firefighting authorities are taking no breaks and starting their planning for the next season. The main message from an annual conference in Zagreb was: more prevention and streamlined operations.

Croatia is buying new equipment, and vehicles. It also plans to purchase two new firefighting aircraft, which will arrive in 2026, because they are currently not being produced.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Božinović noted that because of global warming the fire season had not come to a full close despite the fact that winter was just around the corner.

"We’re seeing fires every day. It not a serious problem and we're handling it. However, it's November! If this is normal for November, we can only imagine what awaits us in the fire season next summer,” he told the conference.

He emphasized that the goal of the Disaster Risk Management Strategy, adopted by the Government last month, is to enable better prevention of climate-related disasters.

He said there are two goals: reducing the biggest risks and increasing the response capacity to the disasters themselves.

Along with Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Greece, Croatia is among the EU members that, under the "rescEU" program, are negotiating with the European Commission on a deal to procure 12 new CL515 firefighting aircraft from Canadian manufacturer De Havilland. Croatia will receive two of them, said Božinović.

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