By Evie Andreou
Authorities on Tuesday issued warnings over high temperatures and extremely high risk of fire, with the forestry department urging the public to consider the pain and destruction caused by thoughtless actions that can lead to deaths.
The met office issued a yellow warning and the fire service a red one.
The met office on Tuesday issued a yellow warning as the maximum temperature inland is expected to reach 41 degrees Celsius for the third day. The warning concerns the hours between 11am and 5pm.
The expected high temperatures could cause health risks amongst vulnerable groups of the population such as the elderly and children, the met office said.
In the mountains, the temperature is expected to rise to 31C. The temperature on the west coast is expected to reach 33C and around 36 on the other coastal areas.
The forestry department issued a red warning due to the heatwave conditions on the island, as there is an extremely high risk of forest fires.
Bringing up the deadly wildfires is Greece as an example, the forestry department urged the public to “realise and consider the pain and destruction caused by fires” and “not become murderers.”
The public, it said, must avoid activities that could cause a fire such as burning weeds, trimmings and garbage and avoid using outdoors equipment producing heat such as welding machines and angle grinders.
Particular attention should also be paid to preventing fire caused from the exhausts of generators or water pumps in the countryside.
It also warned that “given that 85 per cent of forest fires are due to human activity, the law would be strictly enforced.”
Penalties have been recently amended and have become harsher, it said. The law provides between five and 10 years in prison and between €25,000 and €50,000 fines.
To report smoke or fire near or in the forest, members of the public may call the forestry department at 1407, the fire service at 112 or the nearest forest ranger station.