A decrease of more than 10 per cent in the number of fires in Cyprus was recorded from 2016 to 2017, the fire services announced on Friday.
The decline was due to their aggressive firefighting, the services said at a press conference.
However, despite the reduction in the number of fires more than nine out of 10 of them were caused by human activities in 2017.
From 2016 to 2017 the total number of fires declined by 10.12 per cent and fires in rural areas by 10.07 per cent.
Notable changes occurred in the months of April and December. In April, traditionally a month where bonfires are lit due to Easter celebrations in the countryside, there were 32.35 per cent less fires in rural areas than the year before.
In December 2017, although not many fires broke out, an increase of 74.36 per cent was observed compared with the same month in 2016 due to the lack of rainfall.
The reduction in rural fires is a continuous trend. There was a 25.31 per cent drop in 2016 from 2015, and a further reduction of 5.33 per cent from 2016 to last year during the high-risk months from May to November.
Throughout 2017, the fire services responded to 10,677 calls for help which, apart from those related to fires, included calls for special services, false alarms and some ambulance calls in cooperation with first aid medical staff.