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Thousands flee forest fire on Croatia party island

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Thousands flee forest fire on Croatia party island
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Zagreb: Some 10,000 tourists were evacuated from a popular party beach on a Croatian island after a forest fire erupted early Tuesday, police said.

Police ordered visitors to night clubs on Zrce beach on the northern island of Pag to leave after the blaze erupted in a pine forest at around 1:00 am (2300 GMT Monday), a police statement said.

No one was injured in the fire which was brought under control, the mayor of the nearby town of Novalja, Ante Dabo, told national radio.

The cause was not immediately known.

Three firefighting planes were rushed to the scene to help extinguish the blaze which spread to a local road that had to be closed.

The island of Pag and its Zrce beach are popular with young tourists, notably British, who party there.

Tourism is a pillar of Croatia's economy, with visitors flocking to hundreds of islands and islets along its stunning Adriatic coast.

Last year the country of 4.2 million people welcomed more than 19 million tourists.

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