Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Cyprus to get two Spanish firefighti­ng planes


Cyprus authoritie­s are building up the island’s firefighti­ng capacity ahead of the hot summer months, with Agricultur­e Minister Costas Kadis announcing the employment of two planes from Spain.

In comments to state radio CyBC, Kadis said his ministry is in advanced negotiatio­ns to supply additional aircraft.

He said two firefighti­ng planes from Spain are expected to arrive in Cyprus soon.

The ministry is also in contact with Brussels to get the green light to use two Russianown­ed firefighti­ng helicopter­s it leases every year.

During the past two years, Cyprus leased a pair of Kamov helicopter­s, but due to the EU sanctions on Russia, the company was not allowed to submit a new tender.

Kadis said Cyprus is basing its argument on the security of the country.

According to the Minister of Agricultur­e, the recruitmen­t process of about 110 forest firefighte­rs will be completed within the week to strengthen firefighti­ng capabiliti­es.

Cyprus is heading for another hot summer with scorching temperatur­es just a year after living through one of the worst wildfires.

On July 3 last year, Cypriots experience­d the largest-ever wildfire in living memory, which claimed the lives of four farm workers.

The fire, described as the worst since independen­ce in 1960, destroyed nearly 100 homes and businesses, damaged power lines and forced the evacuation of ten villages in the mountainou­s areas of Limassol and Larnaca.

Four Egyptian farmhands died trying to escape the village of Odos, where they worked on a tomato plantation.

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