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Cyprus: Arson blamed for Paphos fire, hectare burned

A fire started by an arsonist in the Paphos district of Cyprus on Tuesday lunchtime has been extinguished.

The fire burned a hectare and a half of reedbeds, forest vegetation and low wild vegetation.

Ten officers from the Department of Forestry with two fire engines worked to extinguish it.

Ironically, the blaze coincided with a meeting between President Christodoulidis to discuss preparedness for natural disasters and fires in Cyprus.

The meeting was held in the presence of the Ministers of Interior, Agriculture, Justice and Defense and the Special Adviser on Crisis Management and Policy.

The Department of Forestry and the Fire Service updated ministers on their preparedness in relation to the operational capability to protect forests during the blistering summer months.

The meeting will also touched on the issue of aviation and the leasing of firefighting helicopters and airplanes.

In the last few years Cyprus has been blighted by summer forest fires. Between 8th of March 2021 and 4th of March 2024, the island experienced a total of 723 VIIRS Alerts fire alerts.

Fires were responsible for 72% of tree cover loss in Cyprus between 2001 and 2022.

Famagusta Gazette