Cyprus

RAF Helicopters Tackle Large Fires In Cyprus

Personnel from 84 Squadron based at RAF Akrotiri responded to two fires over the weekend.

Crews from the Royal Air Force's search and rescue unit in Cyprus spent the weekend tackling two large fires.

Four crews dropped 60 tonnes of water to fight the first blaze on Saturday, with some personnel doing seven-hour shifts after being called in to help at 05:20. 

Local reports said nearly 200 people were involved in helping to put out the fire, including the helicopter crews from 84 Squadron based at RAF Akrotiri, police and the national guard.

The village of Dora had to be evacuated on Saturday in order to keep residents safe.

Flight Lieutenant Martyn Hooker was one of those involved in the firefighting effort.

"[Upon] arrival at the scene there were multiple fires along a ridge line over 10km long and probably around six or seven fires from memory, burning at various places," he said.

"One of the most intense was at the wind farm within the area of the electrical substations as well."

84 Squadron responded to two fires over the weekend (Picture: Sergeant Ben Jacobs).

Sergeant Joe Gladstone, of 84 Squadron, said fires in the area have kept the unit busy recently.

"Going past two weeks, [we’ve] possibly had about four or five shout outs for fires," he said.

"Over the weekend itself we had two Saturday and Sunday - Saturday being a full day effort and then Sunday afternoon - so you can see just from over the past week how busy we actually are fighting the fires."

Cover image: Sergeant Ben Jacobs.