Politically Divided Cyprus Works Together to Fight Forest Fires (PHOTOS) | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

A firefighter standing on a ladder directs high pressure water from a hose at encroaching flames as crews battle a massive wildfire in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the breakaway in ethnically divided northern Cyprus Thursday, June 23, 2022. Israel on Thursday sent two water-dropping planes to help fight the forest fire that has scorched at least 15 square miles of forest. (AP Photo/Nedim Enginsoy)

A wildfire burned more than 15 square miles in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in northern Cyprus on Thursday. The fire threatened three villages before locals worked together to clear brush to remove fuel from the encroaching blaze.

Israel sent two planes dropping water as the two sides of the divided island joined forces to fight the blaze. The government of the Republic of Cyprus, which controls the southern Greek-speaking region, sent three planes to the Turkish Cypriot north where the blaze burned. The planes were sent in response to a request for assistance via the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, which was coordinating the response to the incident, France24 reported. Israel, Cyprus and Greece have concluded a cooperation agreement in the event of natural disasters, such as forest fires.

The fight was joined by planes sent from Turkey, the UN and British military bases on the island.

The Associated Press reported that Cypriot government deputy spokeswoman Niovi Parissinou said government authorities are “always ready and willing” to help in times of crisis despite the political complexities on the island, which is divided. since 1974.

Authorities hoped to bring the blaze under control on Thursday, but winds fanned the flames further.

Wildfires have hit much of Europe due to a record heat wave this week and wildfires have hit both Turkey and Spain.

LEARN MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Turkey’s latest fire brings back memories of last year’s devastating fires

Smoke and flames rise as air and ground response continues to control a forest fire that broke out overnight in a forest in Marmaris district, southern Turkey's Mugla province, June 22, 2022. The aerial intervention continues with 20 helicopters and 14 planes.  (Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Smoke and flames rise as air and ground response continues to control a forest fire that broke out overnight in a forest in Marmaris district, southern Turkey’s Mugla province, June 22, 2022. The aerial intervention continues with 20 helicopters and 14 planes. (Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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