The Department of Forests has issued a new “red alert” for Tuesday citing a high risk of wildfires throughout the island.
In a statement on Facebook posted on Tuesday morning, the department said the chance of a disastrous forest fire starting and raging on August 27 was ranked very high at the “red alert” level.
Weather officials also issued a yellow warning for Tuesday afternoon between 12 noon and 5pm, citing extreme high temperatures in the interior of the island.
The statement also called on members of the public to avoid activities or actions that could lead to a start of a forest fire. Officials also ask in case anyone becomes aware of smoke or fire to dial the emergency number 112 or call Forests Department at 1407.
Two weeks ago, the director of the department, Charalambos Alexandrou, said the problem of forest fires had always been treated as a security issue but the danger and risk of a conflagration was now much bigger.
A conflagration or disastrous blaze can occur from a single fire that grows into a wildfire or several forest fires that unite, causing a greater threat, Alexandrou said, citing examples such the ongoing fire in Siberia burning for two months and the California blaze last year.
The Department of Forests says the chance of a disastrous blaze is very real in Cyprus, with a much greater risk threatening forests but also people’s lives.