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This summer’s fire outbreaks need immediate attention

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 25
Approximately half a million Georgian Lari was spent on extinguishing fires in different parts of Georgia this August. The money was spent on the liquidation of fires that took place all over the country almost simultaneously: in the Borjomi Gorge, Abastumani, Akhaldaba, Akhaltsikhe, Khulo, Kakheti, Tusheti, Pshavi and Tbilisi.

According to the information provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in total GEL 466, 669 was spent on these actions. GEL 261, 669 was allotted from the budget of the Emergency Management Agency and GEL 205, 000 was allocated from the received assistance. The Ministry of Internal Affairs states that the aviation fuel was not funded by the agency's budget.

The fires caused huge damage to Georgia’s nature in the most touristic areas of the country. In August, Ministry of Internal Affairs declared it was looking at all possible motives and all possible cases were being investigated.

Until now, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has not provided any information on the case and the reasons for more than 60 fire outbreaks in the country this summer remain unknown.

Many believe that fire outbreaks were deliberate. In this case, proper investigation is as important as restoration of loss.

Only if the reasons of fire outbreaks are properly investigated and identified, there could be created a ground for guarantee that the country will be able to prevent such cases in the future.

If the case is not properly investigated, then this would lead to misleading solutions and irrational spending of resources.

Georgia’s firefighters are paid low salaries and the country is consistently economizing on expensive equipment that firefighters would need in case of serious fire outbreaks.

For now, it is clear the Georgian authorities should pay more attention to this issue and should be hold responsible to public on the measures taken to protect the country’s natural resources from such disasters. It is an obligation of Georgia’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection to support actions that will increase the capacity and resources of National Forestry Agency as well.