Source AP ©

Firefighters bring Dubrovnik fires under control

Firefighters in Croatia succeeded on Monday in bringing forest fires that had endangered the ancient city of Dubrovnik under control after a frantic overnight battle.

Dubrovnik, a medieval town that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each summer, was surrounded by fire on Sunday which swiftly spread through woods due to strong winds. The line of fire above the old city was about 20 kilometers (13 miles) long at one point.

City authorities had declared the fire alarm and prepared shelters in an ancient fortress and a sports hall in case the fire spread to the city, prompting its evacuation - moves reminiscent of the 1991 Serbo-Croat war, when the city was bombarded by Serb rebels.

The fires were brought under control on Monday morning as winds eases and about 1,000 firefighters were joined by two Canadair planes, said Dubravko Kranjac, head of local firefighters.

Only one abandoned house in a Dubrovnik suburb was burned down and there was no evacuation.

Tourists were not affected by the fires because most hotels are on the coast.

Dubrovnik, founded in the 7th century, has been on UNESCO's list of protected world cultural heritage sites since the 1960s.

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