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Croatian Army preparing for fire season

 Croatian Army firefighting season

Croatian Canadair CL-415 (Photo credit: Totya/GNU Free Documentation License)

ZAGREB,  18 April, 2021 (Hina) – The Croatian government this past week adopted a report on the implementation of the 2020 Fire Protection Action Plan, with Defence Minister Mario Banožić thanking members of the Croatian Army (HV) and everyone else who contributed to making the fire season successful.

In 2020, acting on 181 requests by the Croatian Firefighting Association, members of the Croatian Army performed more than 3,400 flights, staying in the air around 511 hours and unloading around 17,000 tonnes of water, the minister said, adding that preparations for this year’s fire season were underway.

Recalling that last year’s fire season was demanding due to the coronavirus pandemic, Banožić said that the Croatian Army provided sufficient personnel and equipment, including six Canadair and six Air Tractor planes and two transport helicopters.

He noted that the use of aircraft and unmanned aerial systems had proven to be very useful for the early detection of fires with thermal imaging cameras and geolocation of hotspots.

The number of wildfires in Croatia was down 16% last year from the previous year up until August. Thunderstorms were the most frequent cause of last year’s fires, Chief firefighting commander Slavko Tucakovic  said.

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