Radio Amateurs involved in Cyprus forest fire response

Radio Amateurs in Cyprus are currently active in emergency activities tackling the biggest forest fire the island has ever dealt with in the Solea region. Activity is currently using only the VHF band, mainly the local RV48 (R0) and RV58 (R5) repeaters. Hams in and around Cyprus have been requested to keep clear of these repeaters to aid the emergency communications activity.

Fire fighting forces are deployed around the perimeter of the fire. The main fronts of the fire are active, but due to high winds and very high temperatures, the effort to extinguish the fronts seems mammoth. Thick smoke is complicating the task. In addition to the ground forces, a total of 16 aircraft are also operating, with aircraft coming from Israel, Greece and later today France and Italy.

It is estimated that some 20-25 sq km of forest have burned so far, while 4 villages are in grave danger of destruction, as fires are currently located on their perimeter.

Unfortunately two fire fighters have lost their lives in the line of duty, while another 2 are seriously ill in hospital. Cyprus frequently suffers forest fires during its hot summer months, but these are believed to be the first firefighter deaths for years.

Any additional information may be found on the CARS website at http://www.cyhams.org/


Info from Nestor 5B4AHZ