Firefighters were set to remain overnight near the village of Alassa in Limassol on Friday night after bringing a huge fire under control that had threatened a recycling plant and a petrol station, authorities said.
The fire, which broke out in the early evening, was brought under control around 8pm after spreading over one and a half kilometres of dry grass, wild vegetation and trees, fire brigade spokesman Andreas Kettis said.
“The fire is under control but forces will operate throughout the night,” he said.
The fire had earlier threatened warehouses, a petrol station and a recycling plant in the area and firefighters were hampered by strong winds.
“The fire at this time [8pm] continues at the Vati garbage dump, where the access for fire engines is difficult and dangerous, as well as in the old vehicle recycling facility where a large number of vehicles are burning,” Kettis said. The plant’s buildings were protected by firefighters, he said, and undamaged scrap vehicles were moved.
“Firefighting forces used large quantities of water and foam to extinguish the fires on the vehicles,” he added.
Police announced that the Limassol- Alassa road, which was closed due to smoke from the fire, was reopened and traffic was proceeding smoothly. Drivers were still urged to use caution.
The fire broke out late afternoon. More than 17 fire engines from the fire brigade and the forestry department and at least two diggers were called in as well as nine aircraft. Drivers had to take an alternate route indicated through the village Apesia.
Meanwhile, Alassa’s mayor told the press he was certain that the fire was set maliciously.
In a statement to the media, Emilios Tofallis, said that in about a month and a half, four fires had been recorded in the area and “it is sad because these are deliberate fires, they are not set alone, that is, I don’t believe it is from human activities, it must be malicious fires.”