Hunters in Cyprus are angry over the government’s decision to temporarily close all forest roads following the weekend’s spate of fires, Philenews reported on Tuesday.
Social media sites were ‘bombarded’ with comments such as “the decree punishes both innocent and guilty parties” and that “why should we pay the price for a handful of arsonists?.”
Hunters, who are in the thousands in Cyprus, also argue that their presence in forest areas actually acts as a deterrent for arsonists who would not dare act when they see or hear them.
At the same time, authorities are still on high alert over possible re-ignition of fires in the Limassol-Paphos areas of Kouklia, Archimandrita, Orites, Mousere, Dora, Prastio and Avdimou.
If there is no re-ignition, forest fighters will go back to routine duties as of Tuesday evening, head of the Forestry Department Charalambos Alexandrou told Philenews.
On Monday, police called for the public’s assistance in their efforts to trace arsonists believed to have started some of the fires.
They have also assured that those who approach them will remain anonymous.
Witnesses had seen cars moving around in some of the areas suspiciously and authorities are now trying to establish if there is any link between them and the fires.