Pahor thanks countries that helped with firefighting in Kras

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor has thanked presidents of countries that have helped Slovenia in the effort to contain a devastating ten-day blaze in the Kras region, the president’s office said on Monday. The fire has left in its wake nearly 4,000 hectares of burnt area.

On Sunday and Monday, Pahor had telephone conversations with the presidents to thank them for the various forms of assistance their countries provided to Slovenia.

He spoke with Croatian President Zoran Milanović and Italy’s Sergio Mattarella. Croatia helped Slovenia by providing firefighting helicopters and aircraft, and Italy came to its aid with additional firefighters and equipment.

Pahor also thanked presidents of Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Serbia – Zuzana Čaputova, Alexander Van der Bellen, Katalin Novak, Klaus Iohannis and Aleksandar Vučić, respectively.

All these countries helped by providing support from the air. Romania sent to Slovenia two Spartan aircraft, a model that is known for its huge fire extinguishing capacity.

The fire is now under control and all foreign air forces that participated in the effort have been withdrawn from the fire site. There are some 240 firefighters on the ground to monitor the situation and mop up the edges of the site.

Defence Minister Marjan Šarec reiterated today that it was key to keep an eye on the situation to prevent any new outbreaks as there are still some hotspots on the site.

The aid to firefighters is also provided in the form of donations. The Slovenian firefighters’ association has so far raised nearly EUR 400,000.

The largest wildfire Slovenia has ever seen spread over some 3,500 hectares in the ten days it raged in Kras. The vast majority of the fire area was located in the Miren-Kostanjevica municipality where, according to Mayor Mauricij Humar, some 40% of the municipal land was on fire.