The two helicopters from Jordan are in full operational readiness on Monday to assist in firefighting and crews have been fully trained, the forestry department announced.

Meanwhile, the awarding of tenders for six leased aircraft is also in the final stages.

Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said that the state recognises there is a gap until the aircraft arrive in Cyprus but “we cannot operate outside of our procedures.”

Nonetheless, contacts with other countries have been underway and as a result, the two helicopters from Jordan arrived and are ready with their 18-member crew.

“Because we have recognised the problem with the [limited] aircraft I have gone ahead and asked my colleagues to ensure that one of the two aircraft that the National Guard, the police and the British bases have is available” if the need arises.

In the event of a fire the response time will be around 30 minutes, Panayiotou added.

She specified that forestry department aircraft have a response time of around 12 minutes.

Speaking to CyBC, forestry department spokesman, Giorgos Constantinou, said that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the additional aircraft will be in Cyprus in June.

He also said that fire engines, personnel carriers, excavators, crawlers and other vehicles were delivered to the forestry department.

Constantinou mentioned that the department has at its disposal a total of eight drones, used to conduct daily patrols of “blind spots” as a supplementary safety and early response measure.

The forestry service spokesman noted that this year is expected to be particularly difficult, and therefore the department’s forces have been on standby since April.