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Forest fire forces evacuation of thousands of party-goers from Croatian island of Pag

Zagreb, Croatia -- 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 a.m. (7 p.m. Eastern, Monday), a police statement said.

No one was injured in the fire, and the blaze was brought under control according to the mayor of the nearby town of Novalja, Ante Dabo.

The cause of the fire 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, particularly from Britain and elsewhere in Western Europe, who party there.

Videos posted to social media by beach party-goers showed the flames rising into the night sky. The music continues in some of the earlier clips, but later, with the flames appearing closer and larger, the music is no longer heard but there is no sense of panic among the revellers.

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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