Emergency crews continue to battle forest fire near Chernobyl
Emergency crews continue to battle forest fire near Chernobyl
Ukraine Battles Forest Fires Near Chernobyl Nuclear Plant
06 April, 2020, 20:54
A fire covering around 50 acres broke out on Saturday afternoon near the village of Vladimirovka, within the uninhabited Chernobyl exclusion zone, and responders were still fighting two blazes on Monday morning, Ukrainian emergency services said in a statement.
"As it often happens now, someone set the grass on fire first, and then the fire spread to the trees.", Firsov wrote.
"There is bad news - radiation is above normal in the fire's centre", Yegor Firsov, head of Ukraine's state ecological inspection service, said on Facebook on Sunday.
Firefighters in Ukraine are reportedly at the restricted zone now, trying to douse the flames that have spiked radiation levels by an alarming rate of 16 percent above normal, a Guardian report quoting AFP stated.
As reported, at 13:22 on April 4, the State Emergency Situations Service received a call about a wildfire on the area of 20 hectares in the Kotovske forestry near Volodymyrivka. Fires in the zone are a regular occurrence.
A raging forest fire that engulfed 250 acres around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant this weekend was started "for fun", police say.
Authorities dispatched around 90 firefighters, two water-carrying planes and a helicopter to battle the blaze on Saturday.
The disaster occurred on April 26 of that year after a failed safety test of the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant led to a huge explosion, which released large amounts of radiation into the environment, polluting a vast area of Europe.
The zone is still largely unpopulated, although about 200 people have remained.
The three other reactors at Chernobyl continued to generate electricity until the power station finally closed in 2000.
The region has since been taken over by nature, and forest fires are not uncommon.
Dozens of people in Ukraine died in the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, and thousands more have since died from its effects, mainly exposure to radiation.
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