Charnobyl zone fire getting close to nuclear plant

Forest fire in the Charnobyl zone 30 km from the nuclear power plant. April 12, 2020. Photo: REUTERS TV/Reuters/Forum

Despite the efforts of firefighters, the fire is already two kilometers away from the radioactive waste storage, said member of the Public Council at the State Agency for Exclusion Zone Management Yaraslau Yemelianenka on Facebook.

“Either the Cabinet of Ministers is not informed about the real situation, or it chose the policy of silence like the Soviet authorities did in 1986,” Yaraslau Yemelianenka wrote. “The fire reached Pripyat and is two kilometers away from the Podlesny radioactive waste storage facility, where the most highly radioactive waste of the entire Charnobyl zone is located, and from Charnobyl NPP itself.

Yemelyanenka says the government and the State Service for Emergency Situations (SES) have not responded properly.

“Go to the pages of the Cabinet, SES and specialized state institutions – they have everything under control and everything is fine. Something’s on fire somewhere, but it’s okay. And the fact that this series of fires on all legal grounds is a terrorist act, which will now go beyond the country and become international — this is normal, do not pay attention, the situation is regular. Volunteers and journalists are not allowed in the area,” he added.

As of the evening of April 13, 415 people and 98 pieces of equipment, including aviation, were involved in firefighting in the exclusion zone, reports the SES.

Helicopters and airplanes are involved in extinguishing fires in the Charnobyl zone. Photo –

According to TSN, the fire in the exclusion zone has destroyed at least 12 abandoned villages and got close to the Charnobyl nuclear power plant.

Arson, dry weather, unpreparedness of rescue workers

Forest fires in the Charnobyl zone have been going on for a week. The first 20 hectares in the exclusion zone caught fire on April 4 near the village of Vladimirovka.

On April 6, Kyiv police said that a 27-year-old resident of the village of Rogovka confessed to the grass burning, which led to the forest fire.

Experts say that it is unlikely that one person is to blame for the fires: Ukrainian villagers often set the grass on fire to avoid plowing it. Dry weather after snowless winter as well as general unpreparedness of rescuers to extinguish forest fires was also added to this problem.