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Cyprus

Reforestation programme for land destroyed by Solea fires

Aircraft trying to put out the flames in Solea last June (photo: Christos Theodorides)

By the end of the month authorities will have fleshed out a detailed plan for restoring the forest land incinerated in a massive blaze last month, the head of the forestry department said on Monday.

The fire in the Solea region resulted in the death of two firefighters and destroyed 18.5 square kilometres of areas of forest, making it the third worst blaze of the last two decades.

In an article released to the press, Takis Tsintides, the head of the Department of Forests, said also that anti-erosion works in the area have commenced as of July 11.

Regarding reforestation, Tsintides said, the majority of the broadleaf tree species in the area are able to regenerate on their own.

For other trees, the department will make available seeds from its stockpile.

Planting is expected to begin in mid-October and last until January of 2017. Seeds to be planted include pine, cedar, carob and cypress. An estimated 15,000 plants are expected to be planted.

According to Tsintides, the government has set aside €500,000 for restoration works, with private donors also assisting.

One foreign company, based in Cyprus, has donated some €200,000.

Any assistance from volunteers would be appreciated, Tsintides said, but added that people would need to be able to put in several hours of work on the days they would come in to help.

“What we don’t want is for some people to come in on weekends, plant five or six trees, take photos and then go home for lunch,” he said.

 

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