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Photo exhibition "The Karst wildfire 2022"

On 16 January, a photographic exhibition was opened in the Park of Military History in Pivka and placed on large billboards in front of the administration building. The 38 photographs selected by different authors will be on display until September.

The apocalyptic events of those days

The new exhibition, organised by the Park of Military History in cooperation with the Government Communications Office of the Republic of Slovenia, includes photographs by selected Slovenian photographers and journalists. These photographers have captured the apocalyptic events of those days, as well as the efforts of all those who fought the firestorm. Although the fire was something that we might want to forget as soon as possible, we must not forget those who, with great effort and excellent organisation, managed to tame the fire and extinguish it. It is a remarkable success that, despite the scale of the disaster, there were no human casualties and no serious injuries, and no dwellings were burnt down. 

Before the opening of the exhibition, a round table discussion was held in Pivka on the largest fire in independent Slovenia and its recovery. It was also attended by the Minister of Defence, Marjan Šarec. The experience of this fire shows that all protection and rescue forces must be involved in the rescue effort immediately, he stressed.

The Karst fire, which broke out on 15 July 2022 in the grip of a heatwave and severe drought, covered as much as 3,705 hectares of land in 17 days. In addition to 15,000 firefighters, members of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Police were also involved in fighting the fire and saving lives and property, while other services - numerous volunteers, the Red Cross, Civil Protection, the Slovenian Forest Service, the health service, etc. - also joined in...

The role of many volunteers was crucial, and the help of neighbouring and friendly countries - Croatia, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Romania - was also highlighted.

The round table was addressed by Simon Vendramin, Head of the intervention, Srečko Šestan, Commander of the Civil Protection of the Republic of Slovenia, and Franci Petek, Commander of the Firefighters' Association of Slovenia, who spoke about their experiences and challenges in organising such a large-scale firefighting operation, Boštjan Košiček, Head of the Slovenian Forest Service, Dejan Kink, Commander of the Police Aviation Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Matjaž Bončina and Major Primož Pintar, representatives of the Slovenian Armed Forces, and Director of Miren Kars Ariana B. Suhadolnik.

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The whole of Slovenia took part in the fight against the fire

All of them stressed that the whole of Slovenia was practically involved in the fight against the fire. In addition to firefighters and volunteers, many people collected various aid items, especially drinks, and a considerable amount of financial resources was raised. The Fire Brigades Association of Slovenia received almost six million euros from state funds and an equal amount from the entrepreneur Ivo Boscarol, as well as various donations. These were earmarked funds to purchase the necessary firefighting equipment and to reimburse other costs of the intervention. All the funds raised were distributed among Slovenian fire brigades according to their participation in the firefighting effort.

Petra Bezjak Cirman, Director of UKOM, said that the cooperation between the museum and UKOM had been going on for a long time. The exhibition "I Feel Slovenia - I Feel Culture!" has already been presented in Pivka, as well as "Proud of Slovenia - 30 years" last year. UKOM, as the custodian of the I Feel Slovenia brand, is always happy to support any project that presents our country as green and warm-hearted, and Slovenian people as brave, united and united, and as an example to others.

It will probably take decades for nature to recover, at least partially, and they want to help it do so in a professional way.



Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 17. January 2023

Time to read: 4 min