Forestry Department issues red warning as fires rage (update 5)

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The danger of forest fires is on red alert, the forestry department said on Sunday due to the strong winds.

Acting director of firefighters, Polyviou Hadjivassiliou ordered an increase in the number of patrols in all areas as the risk of fire is high. Together with the Forestry Department, police and organized volunteer groups, all areas of the countryside will be monitored, he said.

He reminded the public that it is forbidden to light fires without authorization and to throw cigarette butts and lighted matches within 2 km of state forests, which is punishable by ten years in prison or € 50,000. ‘fine.

The lighting of fires is only authorized in areas designated for picnic areas.

“We also urge the public to be extra vigilant when going out, avoiding activities that could cause a fire, such as using agricultural tools or machinery that generate heat, sparks or flames. It is criminal to start a fire under these conditions, ”a statement said.

In the afternoon, large fires were brought under control in Xylofagou in the Famagusta district, where a plane and helicopter were used to extinguish the flames, and in the Lapatsa district in Nicosia where the blaze took hold. is approached from the houses.

A fire broke out on Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. in Louvara in Limassol, which was brought under control three hours later after burning five hectares of wild vegetation, pine trees and farmland.

A total of 15 forest service men and seven fire trucks and crews were needed to extinguish the fire in addition to a firefighting aircraft belonging to the forest service.

Earlier Sunday morning, the department extinguished three more forest fires.

The first erupted at 7.45 a.m. near Xyliatos, burning olive trees, pines and wild vegetation. Nine men and three vehicles from the department put it out.

The second fire broke out at 8:20 a.m. near Oroklini, and the rapid intervention of the service and the fire brigade prevented it from taking place. Three fire engines and eight firefighters were needed.

The third erupted at 9 a.m. near Moni, which was also quickly extinguished by five men and two forestry service vehicles.

The cause of the three fires is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, in the north, strong winds fanned the fires in Limnitis, Petra tou Digenis and Yenagra. The first was caused by a cable fire and resulted in the burning of 20 acres of wild vegetation. In Petra tou Digenis, an acre of land was burned in addition to agricultural machinery while in Yenagra, six bales of hay were destroyed.

A 40-year-old man was arrested in Famagusta for setting fire to the remains of a harvested barley field, which quickly spiraled out of control due to high winds.

On Saturday, firefighters were called in over fires that burned dry vegetation and threatened the Vasiliko power plant and an area near the salt lake of Larnaca, in addition to waiting for a fire in Mia Milia in the north, which burned 130 acres of wheat fields and 250 acres of trees.

The cause of the fire near Salt Lake, which burned 10 hectares of land, is under investigation by police.

Anyone who sees a fire is asked to call 1407 or 112


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