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.
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