A Cypriot official says there's a glimmer of hope firefighters can contain a one of the nation's worst forest fires as many fronts have now been placed under control.

Forestry Department spokesman Andreas Christou says high winds which have made firefighting difficult in the mountainous terrain appeared to have died down Wednesday.

This could help crews and 20 aircraft from Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Israel and Britain corral the blaze that has burned more than 15 square kilometers of 150-year-old pine forest and claimed the lives of two firefighters.

He said a call has been made for experienced volunteers to bolster the hundreds of firefighters on the scene.

Christou said crews are focused on a major front threatening a pair of villages some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Nicosia.