Wildfires rage along Adriatic coast in Croatia, Montenegro

A Croatian Air Force Canadair over Gornje Sitno near Split Croatia

Late yesterday, firefighters and army personnel managed to prevent the fire from reaching the city itself and by this morning, the situation had improved significantly, the mayor of Split said.

Several cars were burned and a shopping centre was evacuated in the suburbs of Split, covering the area and thick black smoke. Fires were also reported around the capital of Podgorica.

A firefighting plane drops water to extinguish a fire in the village of Stobrec, near Split, Croatia July 18, 2017.

Local media reported that the blaze, which started shortly after midnight, has spread across 20 km and first threatened the villages of Srinjine, Sitno Gornje and Sitno Donje.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic scheduled an emergency meeting for Tuesday, saying Croatia could also seek global help if the crisis continues.

The state Montenegrin TV reported that the Interior Ministry asked for global help through the European Union disaster relief system.

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In neighbouring Montenegro, forest fires forced the evacuation of more than 100 campers on the Lustica peninsula and spread further inland but were all under control, the interior ministry said.

"Our forces are not enough to put out a fire of such proportion", said Stevan Katic, the head of Herceg Novi municipality. Authorities say the navy stepped in to help evacuate the area by sea.

Winds, high temperatures and dry conditions prompted fires to break out over the past several days in southern France and the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

Authorities have said that the fires have destroyed hundreds of acres of pine forests, low shrubbery and olive groves along Croatia's coast at the height of the summer tourist season.

Earlier, fires around Srinjine, near Split in Croatia, forced tourists to leave the area, which was left without electricity or water, Croatian TV said.

There, firefighting planes could not fly due to the winds and turbulence, and a local road was closed.

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