Slovenia mobilizes 2,000 troops to fight severe fires

Slovenian authorities have mobilized some 2,000 firefighters, civil protection personnel and volunteers to fight the severe fires affecting the Karst region.

Firefighters have been trying to douse the flames for a week and now for the first time there seems to be glimpses of bringing the blaze under control. “Superhuman efforts have been made, but now we are close to the end of the operation,” assured Defense Minister Marjan Sarec.

Strong winds have fanned the flames which has devastated the area and entire villages have had to be evacuated. Neighboring countries and other EU countries have sent firefighting planes and helicopters.

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Two C-27J Spartan transport aircraft from the Romanian Air Force have arrived in Slovenia on Sunday in what is the first such collaboration between the two countries.

These air assets are key, as the presence of unexploded explosives from World War I make ground work dangerous. Between 1915 and 1918 Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire engaged in a violent confrontation in the Julian Alps.

Nearby, in Italy, some 350 people have been evacuated near Gorizia, on the border with Slovenia, because the fire could cross the border due to strong winds, authorities have warned. The town of Savogna d’Isonzo has been among those affected.

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There is also a fire in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in Czech Republic, near the German border. The fire has spread over an area of about seven hectares, near the Prebisch Gate, a rock formation popular with tourists.

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