The reforestation of Kakoradjia forest in Larnaca is estimated to cost €180,000 and will take about three years, the forestry department said on Wednesday.

The cost does not include the salaries of forestry staff.

An area of 59.14 hectares in Mallia, Kornos, was destroyed last May by a fire that was set after a car accident on the motorway.

The weather conditions did not allow the fire services to prevent the destruction of the forest, the Conservator of Forests at the Forestry Department, Loizos Constantinou told the Cyprus News Agency on Wednesday.

“When we finally managed to put out the fire, the forestry department immediately started reforestation with the primary goal of removing the burnt vegetation,” Constantinou said, adding that the firewood was sold to the public.

About 2,200 trees were already planted in a section of the forest, while sowing of native species of the region will also be planted including wild olive, tremithia, pine and carob trees according to the forestry officer.

“Pinus brutia [pine tree] that was growing in the area and in natural distribution with sparsely scattered trees, is expected to show natural regeneration on its own,” Constantinou explained.

The officer added that “the biggest cost is spent on renting tankers for irrigation purposes. For this reason we are examining the possibility of utilising drillings in the area with a permanent irrigation facility, to reduce the specific costs.”

Volunteers will also help in the reforestation.

The forestry department had created a garden near the forest area with fig, apple and other citrus trees to promote the biodiversity of the area.