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


SPLIT, Croatia (Reuters) - Montenegro has asked the European Union civil protection force to help it battle several forest fires, while a blaze in neighbouring Croatia that had been threatening the city of Split has "normalised", authorities said on Tuesday.

The fire in Croatia had reached the eastern suburbs of its second-largest city Split, having scorched 4,500 hectares (11,100 acres) of pine forest and scrubland since it started in the early hours of Monday.

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

Sixteen people had sought medical assistance for injuries sustained in the fire, a local hospital said.

"The situation has normalised as the wind has subsided and we have also got the help of firefighting planes. The situation is much better than last night. Now we're working on restoring water and electricity supply in the affected areas," Andro Krtulovic Opara said.

In Montenegro, the interior minister said firefighters were battling to gain control over several fires threatening coastal towns.

The minister said authorities had asked European Union's civil protection force for assistance.

(Reporting by Igor Ilic in Zagreb and Ivana Sekularac in Belgrade; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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