Cyprus says huge forest blaze fully ‘under control’


Firefighters in Cyprus said Monday they had brought under control the island’s worst blaze on record, which ripped through mountain forests and farmland, killing four people and destroying scores of homes.

Water-bombing planes from Greece and Israel and British aircraft from bases on the Mediterranean island helped douse the huge fire, which blackened 55 square kilometres (21 square miles) of the Troodos Mountains.

The Cyprus Forestry Department said Monday that “the fire that broke out on Saturday… came under full control today” at 8:00 am (0500 GMT).

Four Egyptian farm labourers aged in their 20s and 30s were killed by the flames as they tried to escape on foot after their car plunged into a ravine.

The wildfire, described as the worst since the Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960, destroyed 50 homes, damaged power lines and forced the evacuation of 10 villages.—APP

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