The fire in the south of the Mediterranean island is now “completely under control,” said the forest authority on Monday. Around the village of Arakapas, however, many firefighters are still on duty to extinguish possible new sources of fire. Airplanes from Israel, Greece and Great Britain also helped fight the fire.
Fanned by wind and intense heat, the fire spread on Saturday in the Troodos Mountains north of the port city of Limassol. It destroyed 50 houses and 55 square kilometers of land, including olive groves with ancient trees. Ten villages were evacuated. Four people, workers from Egypt, perished while fleeing the village of Odos.
The fire is considered to be the worst fire disaster on the island since the Republic of Cyprus was founded in 1960. The police arrested a 67-year-old farmer on suspicion of arson. The fire was fanned by the great heat: the temperatures in the interior of the country recently rose to 40 degrees Celsius. It has hardly rained on the island since mid-April.