Montenegro asks for international help to fight fires


Firefighters try to extinguish a forest fire at Lustica peninsula near Tivat, Montenegro July 17, 2017.

PODGORICA, Montenegro -  Montenegro asked Monday for international help to fight wildfires in the Lustica peninsula on the country's Adriatic coast.

"The situation at Lustica is critical. The interior ministry of Montenegro asked for the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism" to be activated to help extinguish the fire, the government said in a statement.

Mayors of the threatened coastal towns of Kotor, Tivat and Herceg Novi urged the government to ask neighbouring nations -- Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia--  to send fire-extinguishing aircraft.

Fanned by strong winds, the forest fires forced the evacuation of more than a hundred campers. 

Firefighters aided by the armed forces and volunteers have been battling the blazes since Sunday, boosted by police aircraft on Monday, the interior ministry said.

Further north, Croatia sent firefighting planes to tackle wildfires around the coastal town of Split, local media reported.

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