Last weekend may have been the water festival in Cyprus, but it turned out to be more a time of fire. With temperatures of 41C in some parts of the island, no less than 34 fires started over that weekend. The worst was in the Argaka area of Paphos and raged for a whole day over five square kilometres. Two suspects were arrested for burning shrubs to clear land. High winds fanned the flames to nearby woodlands and the fire quickly spread out of control.
Two hundred firemen and other emergency workers were needed to put it out. Fire engines and even a helicopter were sent out from the British bases. Greece sent planes and Israel loaned a fire-fighting plane also. So much destruction through the carelessness of two people!
It HAS TO BE REMEMBERED that in the Cyprus summer heat, leaves and sticks become tinder-dry. It must also be remembered that strong gusts of wind can flare up without warning.
Avoiding fires is common sense.
- Keep in mind the dryness of the vegetation
- Don’t throw cigarette ends on to the ground or out the car
- Don’t light picnic fires in woodlands
- Don’t leave broken glass lying around since this can act as a magnifying glass and ignite kindle-dry leaves and twigs.
Take care and enjoy our beautiful forests in their living glory.