An appeal for international help to fight forest fires has been issued by Montenegro as neighbouring Croatia battles to stop flames reaching its second city of Split.

Fires have raged along the Adriatic coast for days, prompting dozens of tourists and residents to flee the Lustica peninsula in Montenegro.

A shopping centre in Split had to be evacuated as the flames grew nearer, the BBC reported.

The flames were whipped up by a storm late on Monday and some areas on the outskirts of Split were evacuated.

Tourism officials in Croatia said no visitors to the region had been harmed and they expected the fires to be brought under full control as the winds decreased.

Further to the south on the Adriatic coast, in Montenegro, fires threatened the northern towns of Tivat and Herceg Novi and the flames had already reached the village of Durasevici.

Other countries in southern Europe are also battling fierce fires.

Fire broke out in a pine forest at Castelfusano, on the Italian coast south-west of Rome, and the smoke was visible from the beaches at Ostia.

A state of emergency was declared in an area in the east of Portugal a month after 64 people died in fires in the Pedrógão Grande region further north.

Firefighters prevented a blaze from spreading at Castagniers to the north of Nice in France after it had ravaged 300 acres of forest, the BBC reported.