Multinational team fights Cyprus wildfire, largely contained

A forest fire in Cyprus raging north of the city of Limassol on Tuesday morning was largely contained with the assistance of firefighting crews from Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Britain, Philenews informs.

The blaze broke out on Sunday afternoon and quickly spread through a semi-mountainous region, prompting the precautionary evacuation of three communities on Sunday night.

By morning the fires had largely been contained, but interchanging winds caused intermittent flare-ups.

Israel, Greece and Lebanon sent firefighting aircraft and crews, bolstering those of Jordan, which had been on the island for another fire from last week, and many local volunteers.

Britain’s RAF Akrotiri, which lies south-west of Limassol, was resupplying and refuelling many of the aircraft involved, as well as offering fire engines and firefighting personnel.

The mountain region north of the southern city of Limassol is among the most densely forested on the island, and the fire follows a particularly extended heat wave which, in some areas, exceeded all records.

On Monday, the Mediterranean island’s Meteorological Service said that July had the hottest consecutive days – 16 – when temperatures hit a benchmark 40 degrees Celsius in Nicosia, the capital.

During that period, it said, those temperatures exceeded or were equal to 42 degrees Celsius, making it the highest ever registered for July.