Forest fire near Chernobyl boosts radiation level

Cheryl Sanders
April 6, 2020

Ukrainian officials have one simple message for their citizens: This is fine.

Fires are a routine threat in the forested region around the exclusion zone where an explosion 33 years ago ripped a roof off the fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near the now-abandoned town of Pripyat.

Vladimirovka sits within the deserted 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone, which was evacuated after the devastating 1986 blast at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that sent radioactive fallout billowing across Europe and exposed millions to risky levels of radiation. It said the other fire was about 50 acres.

He added: "There is bad news". "Radiation is above normal in the fire's centre". "But this is only within the area of the fire outbreak". In a Facebook post he shared on April 5, Firsov uploaded a video that shows how radiation level is 16 times above normal right now.

Firsov said ignorant citizens likely started the blazes by setting fire to grass in the area.

In this photo made on Saturday, April 4, 2020, an aerial view of a forest fire burning near the village of Volodymyrivka in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine.

The blaze is within the 2,600-square-kilometer (1,000-square-mile) Chernobyl Exclusion Zone established after the 1986 disaster at the plant that sent a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe. The disaster resulted in a large number of people displaced and vast areas contaminated.

The other three reactors at the power plant continued to operate into the next decade until the site was finally closed shut down in 2000 in the face of global pressure, DW reported.

People are not allowed to live within 30km (18 miles) of the power station. "Otherwise, large-scale fires will continue to occur every autumn and spring", he wrote. "The fire in the exclusion zone ... has not affected the radiation situation in Kyiv and the suburbs".

"Don't be afraid to open your windows and air the premises during quarantine", Firsov wrote.

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