Paphos forest fire sparked by heatwave contained

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A wildfire that broke out in the Paphos forest has been contained after it destroyed around 20 hectares of pine and wild vegetation during one of the longest heatwaves in Cyprus’ history.

It is the worst fire the Mediterranean island has faced this summer as it swelters under temperatures that have remained at 40 degrees Celsius or above since July 12.

Met Office data shows it threatens to be the longest heatwave in recent history, as maximum temperatures of over 40C are expected to continue through the week.

Forestry Department official George Constantinou said that the blaze – in a forest in southwestern Paphos- was controlled during an all-night effort after the fire started on Monday evening.

Over 100 firefighters, tens of vehicles and seven aerial craft were deployed to fight the fire under scorching temperatures to save the cedar and pine trees.

A nearby British RAF base was also put on standby to offer assistance, as it usually does during large fires.

Constantinou said, luckily, there were no flare-ups due to a lack of wind.

Head of the forestry department Charalambos Alexandrou believes overhead electricity cables caused the fire.

During the prolonged hot spell that killed one person from heatstroke, power demand has also reached record levels.