CROATIA - A state of emergency has been declared in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, whose suburbs are threatened by a major forest fire. The emergency services were ready to evacuate residents from the hillside districts above the city centre. Firefighters and water-bombing planes are struggling to contain the blaze. The fire has been burning for several days, fed by strong gusts of wind. Unexploded landmines left over from the Croatian war in the 1990s are also hampering the efforts of firefighters.
Hot weather across southern Europe has led to SOME OF THE WORST FOREST FIRES ON RECORD. More than 3,000 sq km (1,200 sq miles) of forest in southern Europe has already burned this year, almost as much as in the whole of 2006. Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy have all been affected, as well as countries like the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Turkey. Spain and Portugal are also at risk in the days ahead as temperatures soar there as well.
State of Emergency Declared
MONTANA has declared a state of emergency following the spread of wildfires. One of them has more than tripled in size and crept to within two kilometres of some 200 homes that have been evacuated. Lighter wind and higher humidity are expected at the fire northeast of Missoula and the wind is largely blowing the blaze back onto itself. However, wind-blown embers are still sparking spot fires up to three kilometres ahead of the main blaze. The wildfire started Friday and exploded to about 20 square kilometres by late Saturday. Now it has more than tripled to about 70 square kilometres. Photo Above: Columns of smoke rise from the Jocko Lakes Fire over Placid Lake, Mont., which prompted the evacuation of the area and areas at nearby Seeley Lake. (Tom Bauer/AP Photo/Missoulian)