A team of fire-fighters from Cyprus has joined the effort to put out wildfires blazing in nearby Israel since Monday that has approached residential areas in Haifa.
Civil defence spokeswoman Olivia Michaelidou said on Friday that the Cypriot team of two pilots and four support crew in a forestry department aircraft were despatched following a request by the Israeli authorities.
The fires in Israel that have been burning in multiple locations since Monday, intensified on Thursday, due to the dry weather and strong winds.
The civil defence, Michaelidou said, which was in constant contact with the Israeli authorities, had declared its readiness to send help from the first moment.
On Thursday morning, she said, the Republic sent a fire-fighting aircraft – type Air Tractor – with two pilots and a four-member support crew.
“The same aircraft type were sent by Israel during the recent fires in Cyprus, in the Argaka and Solea areas, upon our request for help, significantly contributing to the fire-fighting efforts,” Michaelidou said.
Israel had sent four aircraft in June, to help put out the fire in Argaka, in Paphos, and remained on the island as another fire erupted in the Solea area that raged for five days, destroying 10 sq.km. of forest and resulted in the death of two firemen.
For the fires in Israel, assistance was also offered by Greece, Croatia, Turkey and Russia.