The wildfires started on April 3rd, due to abnormally hot, dry and windy weather. They are now the biggest fires ever recorded in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. What is one of the largest wildlife areas in Europe will take years to recover. With the Greenpeace Russia forest team and global mapping hub, I have been following these wildfires since they began. Satellite images show that an estimated 57 000 hectares of the Cherbobyl exclusion zone has burned so far. That is 22% of the total area of the exclusion zone. As I am writing this, three weeks after the start of the fires, at least three of the largest fires continue burning. One of them is located close to the site of the old nuclear power plant, only 4 kilometers away from the sarcophagus. Hundreds of ill-equipped firefighters and foresters are currently trying to get the fires in Northern Ukraine under control.
Greenpeace 23rd April 2020 read more »
Radiation from fires that have torn through forests around Ukraine’s defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant poses “no risk to human health”, the U.N. atomic agency said on Friday, based on data provided by Ukraine. The main fire among several blazes was extinguished last week but advanced far into the 30 km exclusion zone around the plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986. Smaller fires are still burning in the exclusion zone, its administration said on Friday evening. Footage from the site has shown plumes of smoke billowing from the charred landscape, and environmental activists have said the burning of contaminated trees and other vegetation could disperse radioactive particles, posing a health risk.
Reuters 24th April 2020 read more »