Two fire-fighting helicopters leased by Cyprus for the summer will arrive on the island mid May, it emerged on Thursday, as the island prepares itself for what is expected to be a difficult season.
Paphos district fire service official Spyros Papamichael said the season was expected to be difficult this year since vegetation in rural areas was especially dense because of the increased rainfall.
Apart from the two leased helicopters, Cyprus can also use two small forestry department aeroplanes and two helicopters — belonging to the army and the police — which can be fitted with buckets.
Assistance is also provided by the British military bases when necessary.
Twenty-seven temporary fire fighters will also help fill a gap in Paphos, created by early retirements and a freeze on recruitment.
The state will employ a total of 160 seasonal fire fighters.