Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Turkey helping to save Borjomi
Yesterday the emergency headquarters under the leadership of Georgian Prime Minister Georgy Kvirikashvili issued a statement that Georgia’s Borjomi Gorge wildfire had not yet been extinguished, but the fire was "localized". This statement does not inspire much optimism, because recently the headquarters issued a similar message, but it turned out that the fire started to spread within even a larger area, as the wind has become stronger.
On Wednesday night, Giorgi Margvelashvili arrived in the Borjomi district. Before leaving the capital, the President signed a decree on the use (for the first time in the history of the country) of the armed forces to combat the natural disaster. Army units with the necessary equipment are being urgently deployed to the disaster area. Apparently, this measure is directed not just to help to extinguish the fire (since neither the military nor their equipment are adapted to do it), but to conduct support work. These include the laying of roads, construction of temporary communications, as well as special fences - ditches and, most importantly, the evacuation of tens of thousands of local residents and tourists, if it turns out that the struggle is unsuccessful and the raging fire comes even closer to the settlements - villages, and the famous resorts of Borjomi, Bakuriani and Abastumani. About four hundred firefighters from all over the country are trying to contain the spread of a fire.
The growing threat is evidenced by the fact that the level of leadership in the emergency headquarters has been increased day by day: a few days ago, when what it was considered just a "big forest fire near the village of Daba", the headquarters were headed by the chairman of the Emergency Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; on Monday, the Minister of Internal Affairs Georgy Mgebrishvili urgently arrived in Borzhomi, on Tuesday, the prime minister arrived, and on the Wednesday night - the president and supreme commander-in-chief.
The Borjomi tourist complex - the Borjomi gorge with famous mineral water springs, as well as out-of-season resort of Bakuriani and the summer resort of Abastumani - is considered "Georgia's pearl". The loss of it (destruction of the amazingly beautiful forested area) will become a national catastrophe. Fortunately, Georgia is not alone in its struggle to save the Borjomi Gorge. Azerbaijan was the first to respond to the request for assistance. The leadership of the neighboring country ordered to send two specially equipped helicopters and about a hundred qualified firefighters-rescuers to Borjomi. They are already in the gorge. Turkey, Armenia and Belarus are also helping to combat the unprecedentedly large-scale fire.
In the technical sense, the most significant was the plane sent by Turkey. Specially equipped aircraft capable of simultaneously dumping large volumes of water are the most effective means in extinguishing such fires, taking into account the inaccessibility of the mountain-wooded areas, smoke and fog.
The situation is complicated by heat and a continuous gusty wind. The Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed that the immediate cause of the nationwide disaster was a cigarette end thrown in the forest. A criminal case was instituted under the article of the Criminal Code "Inattention and disorderlyness that entailed grave consequences". But they haven't found any suspects yet, and the perpetrators of the tragedy for the whole country are unlikely to be found.