The situation at the scene of the fire, which has been raging since early afternoon at Ayios Sylas in Limassol, is much better, said Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis, who expressed hope that things will get even better in a very short time.

Speaking to reporters from the forward control centre set up for the fire, the minister in charge spoke of “another terribly difficult situation”, which he said, however, that he was informed was under partial control.

“Fortunately the situation now is much better as I am informed by the Chief Constable. There is partial control of the fire and hopefully things will get even better in the very short term,” he said.

He expressed his thanks to the Fire Service, Civil Defence, Forestry Department and volunteers for their superhuman efforts in the very adverse conditions.

He further said that the only good thing he can hold is that “once again in extremely difficult conditions we had no injury and loss of human life”.

Meanwhile, according to a new update from fire service spokesman, Andreas Kettis, “the fire was completely controlled,” noting that “there are no active fronts and it is now manageable subject to possible resurgence.”

In addition, he said ground forces will be working throughout the night with final extinguishments.

He noted that the area burnt by the fire is about 4 to 5 square kilometres, and according to Kettis, a final assessment will be made when conditions permit.

In the meantime, he added that four aerial resources will operate early in the morning after an assessment of potentially dangerous spots has been made.

The fire extinguishing coordinator of the agriculture ministry, Andreas Gregoriou, is also at the scene of the fire.

Earlier, firefighters from across the country were pouring into Limassol on Friday as a huge fire in Ayios Sylas was veering dangerously close to homes.

Authorities closed parts of the road between Troodos and Limassol, as well as from Polemidia to Palodia, as strong winds were making the fight very difficult.

The severity of the situation prompted a makeshift control centre to be set up, as the flames continue to keep changing direction.

A substructure containing firewood cutting equipment was affected by the fire and authorities are trying to ensure the flames do not reach homes.

The fire began at around 4pm and three aircraft were called in to join the fight –  two helicopters from Jordan and one forestry department aircraft.

Additionally, 10 firetrucks were on scene, some of which had come from Larnaca, Paphos and Nicosia.

Strong winds are hampering the efforts and the chief firefighter was heading to the scene.