Cyprus asks Israel, EU nations for help battle forest fire
Cyprus on Saturday asked European Union countries for help fighting a forest fire that has been consuming a western mountainous region, AP reports.
The state of play: A Cyprus government spokesperson told AP that the fire dimensions are "concerning," and added that the country will be receiving help from Greece and Israel, who are sending firefighting planes. The head of the Cypriot forestry department said it was impossible to extinguish the fire without outside help, the Cyprus Mail notes
- Cypriot Environment Minister Costas Kadis said that the fire had taken over "huge tracts of forest" in the Troodos mountain range. Local authorities evacuated several villages in the area.
- While Cypriot firefighting planes have been assisting on-the-ground crews, strong winds and high temperatures (over 86 degrees Fahrenheit) are obstructing them, per AP.
- Cypriot police arrested a man in connection to the fire late Saturday, according to the Cyprus Mail.
Worth noting: The fire conditions have made it so that off-duty firefighters are being called back into service to help, a fire service spokesperson told AP.