Two more firefighting helicopters on their way

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Two helicopters are expected to arrive in Cyprus on Tuesday as part of the country’s efforts to increase its state of preparedness to tackle summer wildfires.

The two Kamov helicopters will join a fleet of six other aircraft used for firefighting purposes.

The Director of the Forestry Department, Charalambos Alexandrou, told CNA the two leased helicopters and their crews are expected to arrive soon.

“This will raise the number of the Republic’s aircraft, whose primary aim is firefighting, to eight, which is what we wanted to achieve.

“Upon arrival, the helicopters will be inspected, and after the crews are briefed, they will be ready to operate when necessary.

“Efforts will be made to have them ready by the weekend.”

The Forestry Department has at its disposal a drone for regularly monitoring some areas while the goal is to very soon increase their number to two.

Civil Defence drones are also deployed, and a camera provides information on fire detection.

Cyprus is wilting under extremely hot temperatures, and relative humidity is very low, which makes fire prevention more difficult.

“Sparks on dry vegetation will lead to fires as people, in such hot and dry climate conditions, will be unable to contain the flames.”