There has been a spike in the number of fires set deliberately in the Akamas, with 32 reported so far this year of which 23 in the past two months alone, Phileleftheros reported on Monday.
The spike in fires came as the government is pressing ahead with a plan for the National Plan for the Akamas which is intended to serve as model for the comprehensive management of protected areas in Cyprus.
Figures on forest fires for 2018 show that 67 were started deliberately and nearly half of these (32) were in the Akamas. The average for deliberate fires in the period 2000 to 2017 was 26 a year.
Phileleftheros said that contrary to other cases when it issued statements regarding fires that had been started deliberately (such as in Pyrgos, Kapedes and Machairas) it has issued only one announcement regarding Akamas this month which referred to the location and the area affected, but did not cite the reasons.
Phileleftheros said this was linked to efforts to arrest the arsonists with increased patrols both by the Forestry Department and police. The newspaper said that although there have no arrests, the measures appear to have worked as a deterrent, with further measures planned.