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Fire in Borjomi forest gets stronger

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, August 23
An extensive fire that started three days ago near the village of Daba in the Borjomi Municipality has become worse due to strong winds.

The fire was nearly localized on Tuesday but the wind caused another outbreak. Heavy smoke and fire are under constant observation in the forest. The fire is already close to the village of Daba. Firefighters were unable to work at night, but resumed their efforts to combat the fire at 06.00 AM. Helicopters sent by Azerbaijan are now involved in the process, and Turkey and Armenia also pledged Georgia to provide with assistance.

As head of Georgia’s National Forestry Agency Tornike Gvazava has declared, more than 12 hectares have been burnt at the Borjomi forest.

“Three helicopters are involved in firefighting efforts at present, and around 500 firefighters, 100 foresters and volunteers are working at the scene,” he added.

One family was evacuated from the village of Daba last night but their house is not under any threat, according to the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Zurab Alavidze.

He said all necessary equipment and personnel have been mobilized from around Georgia and the population does not face any threat.

Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, arrived at the site to monitor the firefighting efforts.

“We have mobilized all our forces here and we are doing everything possible to extinguish the fire,” the PM said.

Selected staff of the Georgian government held a meeting in Borjomi regarding the incident, and a statement was released saying all corresponding agencies have been mobilized aimed at extinguishing the fire and its further liquidation.

“The special taskforce, headed by PM Kvirikashvili works in a round-clock regime… a new three kilometre road has been dug out at night from the Arjevanidze forests to the Troti road in order to move the equipment freely,” the statement reads.

President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, thanked all those involved in extinguishing the fire near the village of Daba, especially, the firefighters and rescuers for their efforts over the last several days. He particularly expressed his gratitude to Azerbaijan and Turkey for providing assistance.

“I would also like to thank our public volunteers, but I would also like to call on them not to act independently but offer their help to the staff working to extinguish the fire…thank you all for being so organized at a social level,” Margvelashvili said.