A forest fire red alert is in place for the weekend, as high temperatures and low levels of humidity forge dangerous conditions and the public is urged to refrain from activities likely to cause fires.
Head of Forestry Department Charalambos Alexandrou warned that if humidity levels are below 30%, a fire will spread faster, as vegetation becomes increasingly dry.
The Department reminds the heavy penalties on those lighting fires without relevant approval, particularly near forested areas, in line with the 2012 legislation.
The criminal offence and carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, a 50 thousand euro fine or both.
Under the rural areas fire legislation, offenders are liable to five years in prison, a 20 thousand euro fine or both sentences, if caught lighting fires without permission.
Fires to prepare meals are only allowed at designated picnic area barbecues.
The Forestry Department appeal to the public to refrain from any actions or activities that are likely to spark a fire such as using tools or farming equipment producing heat or flames, welding for example.
In case of smoke or fire, please call the forestry department line at 1407 or the fire service at 1402.