The fire department has called for backup in fighting multiple blazes in Akamas and other areas, with the agriculture minister saying the fires “can’t be a coincidence” as government policies move forward.
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A wildfire that broke out in Akamas National Park on Wednesday morning, around 9:30am, was said to be still raging in the early afternoon, according to the Cyprus News Agency.
Planes that took off in a fire fighting mission included four state helicopters, a Forest department aircraft, and another helicopter from the National Guard that served a coordinating role.
'It is very sad that every time that we move forward with a plan to manage Akamas properly, we see this kind of reactions'
Community leader Andreas Christodoulou in Neo Chorio village told local media that the fires were the result of arson attacks.
Media reports confirmed that multiple fires had been raging since the morning, while another fire was saiid to have broken out even earlier, around 7:20am, in Pelli’s Cliff, in the Inia area of Akamas.
Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis went on television to say that the government was moving forward with development plans for Akamas that would protect and promote a “proper management” of the area.
Kadis added that he believed people who were against the government plan simply did not want to see it implemented in Akamas.
“These kinds of behaviour are not going to stop us from implementing plans to protect Akamas,” the minister said.
Forestry Department director Charalambos Alexandrou, who appeared on the same TV programme, described the situation as “a living hell,” adding that the fires were clearly arson but officials simply did not know how many.
Kadis also made a statement about possible causes, saying “it is very sad that every time that we move forward with a plan to manage Akamas properly, we see this kind of reactions.”
“This can’t be a coincidence,” the minister added.