All relevant government departments are rushing to prepare for what the Interior Minster, Constanstinos Petrides said on Wednesday he expected to be one of the most difficult fire seasons so far this summer.
Speaking after a meeting with the justice, defence and agriculture ministers and all services and departments involved in the prevention and tackling of fires, Petrides said that preparatory measures are already underway to tackle the heightened danger of rural fires.
The increased risk comes as a result of the proliferation of undergrowth across the island due to the extraordinarily wet winter. This undergrowth will dry out come summer, leaving swathes of land covered with fuel for fires.
According to Petrides, a total of 3,875 fires erupted last year, some of which could have caused major damage to forests and surrounding communities had it not been for the appropriate preparation and readiness of all parties involved.
“Today we requested that all departments prepare themselves for the heightened dangers of this year,” Petrides said, noting that additional urgent measures will be implemented to meet the level of danger.
A follow-up meeting will be held within 15-20 days, he said, to assess the development of preparatory measures.