Argaka Fire 18 June 2016

Two individuals, a man from Argaka in Paphos and a woman from Syria were remanded for four days by the Paphos court on Sunday on suspicion of starting a devastating fire on Saturday that was still smoking, though brought under control early on Sunday. The, pair whose aged varied from 62 and 46 to 52 and 46, according to different reports, had been burning rubbish, the court heard, but the fire they started got out of control quickly due to strong winds on Saturday that had later hampered firefighting efforts. Four firefighting planes from Israel arrived early in the morning at the Andreas Papandreou air base in Paphos to help the effort. Ash and cinders were still smoking within the five square kilometre ares of scrub and pine trees that were destroyed by the fire. CyBC reported that some of the trees had been 50 years old. One forestry official called it a major environmental disaster, according to CNA. The forestry department announced at around 8.30 that the blaze was under control ?after an overnight battle? by firefighting forces from the department, the fire service, the game fund, volunteer firefighters and local residents but the danger still existed that it could re-ignite. The fire service said around lunchtime that the Israeli planes had carried out a flyover and spread flame retardant material over the affected area. Israeli ambassador to Cyprus Yael Ravia Zadok visited the Andreas Papandreou air base in Paphos on Sunday morning and was monitoring the operations. Zadok said: ?It is our duty and pleasure to stand by our Cypriot friends and extend a hand of assistance to them, just the way they did when Israel had to combat the massive fire on Mount Carmel in 2010?. Another fire that broke out on Sunday morning around 9am near Souni in Limassol was on the way to being brought under control around lunchtime, the fire services said. Twelve fire trucks from Limassol stations, one from the forestry department and one from the game fund had responded, with two helicopters plus another two from the British bases and two planes from the forestry department. Cyprus Mail - 19th June 2016.

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