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11 Apr 2020 | 05:24 AM UTC

Ukraine: Hundreds of firefighters battle wildfire near Chernobyl nuclear power plant exclusion zone April 11

More than 300 firefighters involved in operation to quell wildfire near Chernobyl nuclear power plant exclusion zone as of April 11; area disruptions expected



As of Saturday, April 11, more than 300 firefighters are battling a large wildfire near the 30 km (19 mi) Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, an area established after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion. While sparsely populated, the area in and around the village of Poliske (Ahytomyr Oblast) has been evacuated as of Thursday, April 9, by police after the Ukraine environmental inspection service recorded levels of radioactivity 16 times above normal. Tests carried out in Kyiv have reportedly found no abnormally high levels of radiation. Investigations are ongoing as authorities believe the fire to be manmade.

As of Friday, April 10, the fire is estimated to be 17,300 acres (7000 hectares) and is spreading to the east and southeast. 


Individuals in the affected areas are advised to keep abreast of warnings, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders.