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Fire burns two hectares of forest at Mtatsminda

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, August 10
Around two hectares of forest territory was burnt in the Mtatsminda district, Tbilisi, due to an extensive fire that broke out at night on Tuesday.

Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania said helicopters were not involved in the fire-rescue operation due to a security component. As Narmania explained, helicopters are not used in such operations during night hours.

"Helicopters are not used in fire-rescue operations during night hours due to security issues. That's why helicopters were not used last night,” the Mayor said.

The fire raged close to Mtatsminda Park and all tourists and residents from nearby territories were evacuated.

Due to the difficult relief location, fire-rescue equipment was difficult to put in place, but as a result of effective firefighter operations, around 70 units managed to extinguish the fire early on August 9.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation into the incident. According to Deputy Interior Minister Merab Malania, an investigation is underway under the second part of article 188 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which pertains to negligence that damages or destroys someone’s property.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked the Emergency Situations Management Agency, firefighters and rescuers for their hard work.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Interior Ministry Emergency Management Agency, firefighters and rescuers for their efforts. They risked their own lives to extinguish the fire and protect our people,” the statement of Kvirikashvili reads.

Nino Chkhobadze, the former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, said the burnt trees on Mtatsminda slopes should not be cut down now, because this might provoke landslides.

“New trees should be planted this autumn and the old ones should be cut only after this,” she added.