The government has made payments of over €6 million to those affected by the Arakapas fire in July 2021 which killed four men and destroyed some 55 square kilometres of forest, cultivations, homes and other property.

The figure was released by the Audit Office on Wednesday.

Out of the total sum paid to the people affected by the fire, €1,058,051.14 was collected from donations of private citizens paid into a special account set up by the government and open to individual contributions.

“A total of 1,115 individuals and private companies made contributions to the account, with the largest single amount collected standing at €130,000,” the Audit Office said.

Moreover, farmers who lost their crops totally or partially and applied for the state support scheme, received a total of €2,027,926.74 of financial aid.

Finally, the families of the four Egyptian nationals who lost their lives in the fire were paid a total of €620,000.

The fire, which was the worst in living memory in the history of the Republic, burned houses, businesses, pine forest, crops, and left 10 communities reeling.

Fanned by strong winds, flames raced through a largely forested area, destroying everything in their path.

A 67-year-old man was found to be responsible for starting the fire. He has pleaded not guilty to charges and the trial against him is still continuing.

It travelled eight kilometres in around five hours over a perimeter of several kilometres. By comparison, a 2016 blaze in Solea destroyed 18 square kilometres in four days.