In the middle of the largest forest fire in Cyprus’ history, four people have been confirmed dead.Inferno began Saturday during a heat wave that lasted for a week and was made worse when strong winds blew in.
The fire has already burned 21 miles of pine forests, orchards, causing the evacuation of eight mountain villages. The Troodos mountain range is home to pine forests and dense shrubland.
Nicos Nouris, Interior Minister, claimed Sunday that authorities are “cautiously optimist” about putting out the flames. However, the possibility of strong winds returning could jeopardize the progress made by firefighters.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus thanked Greece and Italy for their “swift responses and valuable assistance” in assisting with firefighting aircraft.
British helicopters from a United Kingdom military base on the island joined in the effort, as did the European Union, which assisted with the deployment of aircraft and a satellite. British helicopters were sent from the United Kingdom to assist with the operation. The European Union also assisted in the deployment of the aircraft and a satellite.
Four charred bodies were found by Cypriot authorities and identified as Egyptian agricultural laborers. The four men were working in a greenhouse. They tried to escape the flames when they saw it approaching, but their truck crashed into an embankment and they couldn’t get away.