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Nicosia asks Israel for help to fight Pano Pyrgos forest fire

June 21, 2018 at 11:25pm
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Cyprus has asked Israel to help battle a fire that has been raging in the forest near Pano Pyrgos since around 7.00 pm on Thursday.

The request was made by Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou and depending on the situation, three fire fighting aircraft are expected from Israel on Friday.

Fire department spokesman Andreas Kettis told the Cyprus News Agency that fire fighters — including from the Forest Department and the fire brigade — were continuing to tackle the blaze.

He said the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre has been asked to give a better picture of the situation.

Kettis said that the Justice Minister, on being briefed about the situation, asked Israel for help.

Depending on how the situation develops overnight and if the fire is not extinguished by Friday morning, three aircraft from Israel will join the fire fighting effort, he said.

The fire broke out around 7.00 pm in a forest area near Ayia Paraskevi and quickly spread to Floudi, between Pano Pyrgos and Stavros tis Psokas.

According to latest reports the fire is raging on three fronts in difficult terrain and efforts are being hampered by strong winds. Off-duty fire fighters have been called in to help.

Reports say fire fighters in the Turkish occupied north have been sent to the Limnitis area and are on standby should the fire spread there.

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