Separate fires cause serious damage

A MASSIVE fire yesterday destroyed one square kilometre of pine forest in Kalo Chorio, Klirou in the Nicosia district, while a second blaze caused around €1 million in damage to a farm in Orounda, also in the Nicosia area.

The Orounda fire broke out at around 9.30am yesterday on a large farming estate.

Four fire engines and two trucks from the Forestry Department battled hard for hours to extinguish the fire and to save the main building from collapsing.

A spokesman for the Fire Service, Leonidas Leonidou said that within the main building 2,500 bales of hay and other stored crops had been completely burnt while 700 bales of hay which were on the connected farmland were also destroyed.

Leonidou also added that that fire started after a machine that grinds food for animals malfunctioned. “According to initial indications, a machinery fault is to blame,” he said.

Following the containment of the fire in Orounda a second fire of even greater proportions broke out near the village of Kalo Chorio in Klirou at around 2.45 pm.

Leonidou said that the situation had been very difficult to manage as the fire was raging into inaccessible forest areas. It was finally brought under control around 6.30pm but not before destroying one square kilometre of pine forest.

Leonidou said that earlier on, that two houses in the area were under direct threat but thanks to the swift actions of the Fire Department the houses were saved.

Three planes from the Forestry Department, local residents, seven helicopters and men from special fire-fighter unit EKAN also helped the Fire Department in their attempt to contain the fire, whose point of origin was located by the side of a nearby road.

A total of 250 people and 47 fire trucks were involved in the fire extinguishing operation.

Leonidou stated last night that even though the fire had been brought under control, fire fighters were due to stay in the area throughout the night as a precaution.