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Cyprus Is Fighting A Significant Wildfire

Cyprus Is Fighting A Significant Wildfire

Aircraft from Greece and Jordan have joined Cypriot authorities in battling a significant wildfire in the southwestern Paphos region, suspected to have originated from an illegal landfill, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

The significant fire ignited on Tuesday east of the village of Giolou, prompting a national emergency response that led civil defense to evacuate five at-risk mountain villages. On Wednesday, two air tractors from the Royal Jordanian Air Force and two planes from Greece were deployed to combat the blaze in the rugged terrain.

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Fire service spokesman Andreas Kettis later reported that the fire was diminishing. “The fire is now subsiding. The active front near the Polemi community has been controlled,” he stated.

Nicos Logginos, the fire service chief, revealed that due to the challenging terrain, ground forces had been unable to reach the area. Over 300 personnel, including firefighters supported by bulldozers, were working to contain the fire perimeter.

Logginos mentioned that police had evidence indicating the fire originated from an illegal landfill site. Around 48 evacuated individuals were accommodated in hotels.

The intensity of the fire led President Nikos Christodoulides to cut short his participation in a Gaza aid summit in Jordan on Tuesday to visit the crisis control center. During a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, he sought additional aerial support to combat the fire in Paphos.

Residents complained about the slow response to the fire outbreak, with some homes sustaining significant damage or destruction. Wildfires are common in Cyprus during the scorching summer months, exacerbated by a severe lack of rainfall. The Department of Meteorology issued a yellow alert for Wednesday due to extreme heat, with temperatures expected to reach 41 degrees Celsius.