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PM: If weather helps us we will put out Abastumani fire soon

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, September 1
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili commented on the recent fires in Georgia at a cabinet session on Thursday.

He said that if the weather helps, the fire will be extinguished soon.

“Of course, it is difficult to predict any natural disaster, but if climatic conditions help us, we will soon localize the blaze,” he said.

According to Kvirikashvili, around 200 hectares of forest were destroyed during the Borjomi fire last week, but total the amount of damage is not yet known in Abastumani.

The PM added that around 3000 people who were actively involved in firefighting efforts in Borjomi will receive bonuses from the state.

“We have saved the forest from a huge disaster. I think we have succeeded to overcome this challenge,” Kvirikashvili said, and expressed hope that the fire in Abastumani will also be localized in the near future.

He said the forests will be restored in Georgia with the participation of the public.

“It is a noble job to restore our beautiful forest with the involvement of the entire population, and with the participation of those who wish to make even a little contribution, we will restore all the forest that was destroyed. This is our duty,” he underlined.

Kvirikashvili also thanked all the countries who assisted Georgia during the Borjomi fire, saying regional involvement in such cases is very important.

The Prime Minister underlined that when the fires are extinguished in Georgia, the government will launch systematic changes in order to transform the Crisis Management Council in compliance with proper standards.

“It will be a systematic change that will bring our country to a higher level of readiness for such challenges,” he stated.

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reports that all open fire zones of fire have been extinguished in Abastumani forest and there are ‘positive dynamics’.

The MIA statement reads that around 1000 people, as well as eight aviation units, are actively involved in fire-extinguishing efforts.

“At this stage two Georgian, one Azebaijani and two Turkish helicopters are involved in fire-extinguishing works, as well as a rescue plane. If necessary, another Turkish plane and two Iranian helicopters will be involved in the operation,” the statement reads.

A special field operation center reports that more than 5 km of new road heading in various directions has already been made, enabling dozens of special technical vehicels to reach the fire pockets.

The fire in the Abastumani forest broke out on August 29.