Politically Divided Cyprus Works Together To Battle Wildfire (PHOTOS) | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com

A firefighter standing on a ladder directs high-pressure water from a hose on encroaching flames as crews battled a huge wildfire in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus on Thursday, June 23, 2022. Israel on Thursday dispatched two water-dropping aircraft to help in fighting the wildfire that has scorched at least 15 square miles of forest. (AP Photo/Nedim Enginsoy)

A firefighter standing on a ladder directs high-pressure water from a hose on encroaching flames as crews battled a huge wildfire in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus on Thursday, June 23, 2022. Israel on Thursday dispatched two water-dropping aircraft to help in fighting the wildfire that has scorched at least 15 square miles of forest. (AP Photo/Nedim Enginsoy)

A wildfire scorched more than 15 square miles in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in northern Cyprus Thursday. The fire was threatening three villages before residents worked together to clear brush to eliminate fuel from the encroaching blaze.

Israel dispatched two water-dropping aircraft as both sides of the divided island joined forces to battle the blaze. The government of the Republic of Cyprus, which controls the southern, Greek-speaking region, sent three aircraft to the Turkish Cypriot north where the fire burned. The planes were sent in response to a request for aid via the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, which was coordinating the response to the incident, France24 reported. Israel, Cyprus and Greece have an agreement to cooperate when natural disasters, such as wildfires, strike.

The fight was joined by aircraft sent from Turkey, the U.N. and the British military bases on the island.

The Associated Press reported that Cyprus government deputy spokeswoman Niovi Parissinou said that government authorities are “always ready and willing” to help during times of crisis despite political complexities on the island, which has been divided since 1974.

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Authorities were hopeful to gain control over the fire on Thursday, but winds further stoked the flames.

The wildfire strikes as much of Europe was gripped by a record-breaking heat wave this weekand wildfires struck in both Turkey and Spain.

MORE FROM WEATHER.COM: Turkey’s Latest Wildfire Revives Memories of Last Year’s Devastating Blazes

Smoke and flames rise as intervention by air and land continues to control a wildfire that broke out overnight in a forest in the Marmaris district of Mugla province in southern Turkey, on June 22, 2022. Air intervention continues with 20 helicopters and 14 planes. (Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Smoke and flames rise as intervention by air and land continues to control a wildfire that broke out overnight in a forest in the Marmaris district of Mugla province in southern Turkey, on June 22, 2022. Air intervention continues with 20 helicopters and 14 planes. (Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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