Conditions of “gunpowder” for the vegetation of the island, warns the forest department


The forestry department is on high alert to respond to potentially fatal fires, its director Charalambos Alexandrou told the Cypriot news agency on Monday.

He added that the department now has more resources to deal with serious incidents, also considering the increase in the number of fires in recent years.

“We are always ready to mobilize our forces when we receive calls for help. The same goes for special vehicles, such as fire trucks, as well as land and air tankers.

“We now have more resources at our disposal for an immediate response. We have two land tankers in each forest district, namely two in Nicosia district and two in the mountainous areas of Troodos, as well as three more in Paphos district.

“We have improved our preparation and reaction times over the past few years,” he said.

Alexandrou explained that the increase in the number of fires this summer is a direct consequence of a relatively dry winter season associated with even drier spring and summer seasons.

“Without rain, the vegetation in Cyprus becomes ‘gunpowder’, every day the risk of fire is present.

“We are involved in a daily battle against fires and that is why we urge everyone to be very careful in their movements and activities in sensitive areas,” said Alexandrou.

According to a statement released Monday by the department, the risk of forest fires remains at the red alert level.

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