Georgia to launch forest fire warning systems

  • Last night Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili announced that the massive forest fire in Borjomi Gorge, that broke out a week ago, had been “fully liquidated”. Photo: Interior Ministry's press office., 26 Oct 2017 - 12:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Environment Ministry plans to design a monitoring and warning system for forest fires across Georgia that will give early notice of an impending disaster.

Negotiations with foreign donors and experts have already launched, said deputy head of the National Forest Agency Natia iordanishvili.

Iordanishvili said that these new technologies cost a lot but both international donors and the state of Georgia are ready to contribute to the initiative.

She believed that the warning systems could be launched next year.

Iordanishvili said Georgia is cooperating with experts from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) to design the warning system that fits the country’s landscape.

"We plan to start installing new equipment from those areas that we know need stricter monitoring”, Iordanishvili said.

She added that due to their climate and type of forests, the places of higher risk are Samtskhe-Javakheti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kakheti.

Iordanishvili also said that such early warning systems will only help during natural disasters but nothing can help when a fire is a result of someone’s carelessness – for example, throwing a cigarette butt in the forest.

This summer saw an unusually large number of forest fires across Georgia.

The largest one was Borjomi Gorge wildfire in late august, where Georgia needed international help to handle the disaster.