Worst forest fire in its history hits Cyprus


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Several nations are stepping in to help Cyprus tackle what some officials are calling the worst forest fire in the country’s history. The UK, Italy and Israel have sent water-bombing planes that as of Monday has managed to contain the blaze.

The forest fire, which broke out in Arakapas village on Saturday, has so far killed four labourers, destroyed 50 homes, damaged properties and forced the evacuation of 10 villages.

As the fire has been fanned by strong winds in the area, the initial emergency response struggled to cope, and there is still a danger that an increase in strong winds could result in a resurgence.

EU responds to forest fire

After requesting help, the EU rapidly mobilised rescEU aerial fire-fighting assets hosted by Greece and Italy.

Welcoming the rapid deployment of rescEU assets, European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “The EU stands in full solidarity with Cyprus during these difficult moments. European support is already on its way. I am thankful to Greece and Italy for their rapid reaction and their tangible solidarity. Our thoughts are with all those affected and with the first responders who are risking their lives to battle the fires. We stand ready to provide further assistance.”

A local farmer has been arrested on suspicion of starting the blaze and remains in custody.

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