More equipment is desperately needed to deal with forest fires in Cyprus, a problem that is getting worse by the year, according to the director of the forestry department, Charalambos Alexandrou.
Alexandrou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Wednesday, that in order to deal with the growing number of fires, more fire trucks, tankers and bulldozers are needed.
The head of the island’s forestry department stressed that every year the department becomes better in terms of equipment, staffing and organisation. However, he said, fires are a difficult problem that every year gets worse.
“To deal with it, we need to have continuous and lasting improvement. More fire trucks, tankers and dozers are needed,” he added.
Regarding the relationship between fires and climate change, Alexandrou noted that the risk of outbreak and expansion of fires is directly related to climate factors. Since climate change directly affects temperature, winds and humidity, it is clear that heat waves with extreme temperatures are causing devastating fires,” he pointed out.
Alexandrou added that climate change hasn’t caused a spike in the number of blazes, but that fires are now larger and more catastrophic, noting that there is an increase in the number of large and devastating fires, citing last year’s fire in Arakapas as an example.
Meanwhile, Alexandrou noted that the use of technology is now the number one issue not only for the management of fires but also for the identification and arrest of perpetrators who light fires intentionally, he concluded.