The wave of fires does not give truce in Chernobyl. Forest fires have been raging in the Ukrainian region for seven days. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the country thus faces a double battle involving Ukrainian firefighters who try to quell the flames while being exposed to increased radiation. After a week of fires, authorities have decided to triple the number of troops sent to the area since Monday to deal with the flames, which have caused a large column of smoke. This Friday there are about 400 firefighters working to control the outbreaks of the fire.
Despite the fact that the State Emergency Service ensures that the level of radiation continues to be “admissible”, for Egor Firsov, High charge of the environment, the fires have caused a significant increase in radiation in the area to a level 16 times above normal. He is joined by several environmental experts, who fear that the flames will remove the radioactive ashes found in the soil in an area where dry terrain and strong winds have contributed to the spread of fires.
Residents of Kiev, the capital of the country, have expressed concern at the possibility that the smoke -possibly contaminated with radiation- may have effects on the locality. Although the Ukrainian authorities initially considered that the main focus of the fires – most of them registered in the Kiev province – occurred as a result of the controlled burning carried out by farmers in the area, authorities are investigating a 27-year-old It could have caused at least one of the fires.
More than 130 emergency personnel and 32 aerial means participate in the fire extinguishing work. During the first days of the fires, radiation in the area increased 16-fold due to the fire, authorities reported. While, in Kiev residents complained of smoke and burning smell, but radiation measurements did not register an increase.
The Chernobyl nuclear accident, which occurred on April 26, 1986 when several explosions occurred and a widespread fire at the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin nuclear plant, is considered the largest nuclear disaster in history.
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