Fire in Ulqin threatens ancient olive grove

Fire in Ulqin threatens ancient olive grove

Montenegrin firefighters have been struggling to contain a fire that has engulfed pine forests around a southern Adriatic tourist resort and threatened an ancient olive grove under state protection.

Authorities said Sunday they have detained one person suspected of starting the fire Saturday in ethnic Albanian town Ulqin (Ulcinj) by throwing a burning T-shirt into the pine forest. Dozens of homes have been evacuated as the fire quickly spread.

Local firefighters’ chief Flamur Selaj says no inhabited areas are currently under threat. He has announced that help is coming from neighboring Serbia or Italy.

The fire could spread to the nearby Valdanos bay that contains about 18,000 olive trees, some of which are up to 800 years old. The site was put under state protection in 1992.