July 21, 2015 / 7:21 AM / 4 years ago

Huge blaze threatens village in southern Croatia

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Several dozen residents were evacuated from a village in southern Croatia on Tuesday as firefighters struggled to keep a raging forest fire away from houses, state television HRT reported.

Further south in Albania, a fire tore through a forest in Kruja region, north of the capital Tirana, causing an explosion near a former army missile base. Another fire destroyed 40 hectares of forest and pastures in the northern town of Shkoder, an Albanian emergency services spokesman said.

HRT said a huge blaze had surrounded the Croatian village of Trstenik on the southern Peljesac peninsula, a wine-growing regions, during the night.

Despite efforts by a hundred firemen and two fire-fighting planes, the fire had devoured vineyards, olive groves, pine forests and livestock but no human casualties were reported, HRT said.

It said the fire had disrupted electricity supplies and telecommunications. By 1500 London time it was no longer burning but Trstenik was covered in thick black smoke, HRT said.

Another fire on the nearby Korcula island, a popular tourist destination, had destroyed 500 hectares of pine forest by Tuesday morning.

Croatia has had a week of unusually high temperatures nearing 40 degrees Celsius, making forest fires along its Adriatic tourist coast increasingly likely.

Reporting by Zoran Radosavljevic in Zagreb and Benet Koleka in Albania, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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