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Forest Fire Response Efforts Underway at Three Locations
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Sep.'17 / 22:39

Forest fire response efforts are underway at three locations across Georgia: in Telavi and in Akhmeta municipalities of eastern Georgian region of Kakheti and in Khulo municipality of Adjara in the west of the country.

About 400 employees of the Special Tasks Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were deployed to quell the forest fire near Artana village in Telavi municipality, along with emergency workers and firefighters.

Three firefighting aircraft, including one Georgian and two Iranian helicopters joined the firefighting operation in Artana.

Forest fire response efforts are continuing in village Khakhabo of Akhmeta municipality (Tusheti sub-region of Kakheti) as well. One Georgian helicopter was trying to extinguish the fire in Khakhabo.

Around 200 firefighters and emergency workers are trying to contain the fire in Khulo municipality of Adjara region. Zurab Pataradze, head of the regional government in Ajara, reported on September 4 that the fire has spread to approximately three hectares of forested territory.

A separate forest fire in village Shilda of Kvareli municipality in Kakheti region was successfully contained, the Interior Ministry stated on September 3.

A small-scale fire ocurred on September 3 close to the occupation line, near Plavismani village of Gori municipality just several hundred meters deeper in the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. Several fire engines and firefighters were deployed on the Tbilisi-controlled side to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the occupied territory.

Kakha Samkharadze, governor of Shida Kartli region, told the Georgian Public Broadcaster late night on September 3 that Tbilisi offered assistance to Tskhinvali authorities, but the latter declined to respond to the offer.

Alan Tadtaev, head of the emergency management agency in Tskhinvali, said on September 4 that the fire was contained using the region’s “own resources” and that they did require any “external assistance.” He, however, noted, contrary to Tbilisi’s account of the event, that the fire spread into the Tbilisi-controlled territory and that the Georgian emergency workers “extinguished the fire on their territory.”

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