We have been in Split Croatia now for four days and it is a very beautiful city. I’ll write more about the city itself soon, but today I want to briefly mention the heat. The heat is definitely on in Split, and all through out Croatia and the result is some devastating wildfires.
Split sits on a beautiful harbor and the city itself is low. But on three sides rise beautiful mountains and it reminds me very much of Eastern Washington. And today it reminded me very much of summer fires in Eastern Washington.
We first noticed the smoke yesterday, very subtle. We had noticed a similar situation when we were in Dubrovnik but it never amounted to much. But yesterday it did. In the morning it was just a little smoke. By late afternoon it was a firestorm, that unfortunately resulted in loss of life, loss of property and loss of homes.
The locals seemed shaken. Even though summer forest fires in the pine forests and dry scrub are common. But this fire was close. Too close for
comfort. Several villages in the surrounding hills lost buildings, schools and homes and one man was said to have died from a heart attack while watching his olive grove burn.
By the early morning hours today the fires were said
to be under control, although throughout the day we could see smoke and watched the firefighting airplanes dip into the sea to fill their tanks and head back up to the mountains.
We are safe, and the part of the city we are in is also safe. We will see how the rest of the time in Croatia plays out – and the rest of our time throughout
Europe. Portugal, where we arrive on August 1st has had its share of fires since June. We may see more there.
Tomorrow we take a ferry to the island of Brac for the day and like everywhere else, the forests and villages there are like a tinder box.
Cautiously we go. The heat is on.