05:04 GMT20 September 2020
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    KIEV (Sputnik) - WIldfires in Ukraine’s Chernobyl exclusion zone continue to rage one week into emergency service’s efforts to contain them and after hundreds of tonnes of water was sprayed onto the blaze, the State Emergency Service (SES) said Sunday.

    “As of 7:00 [04:00 GMT] on 12 April, in the exclusion and unconditional (mandatory) resettlement zone, units of the State Emergencies Service and forest guards continue to extinguish fires…. 353 people and 89 pieces of equipment were involved in extinguishing efforts, of which 294 people and 64 pieces of equipment from the State Emergency Situations Service,” the SES said in a statement.

    The SES said that three AN-32 airplanes and two helicopters poured a total of 250 tonnes of water over the past day.

    The statement added that radiation levels in surrounding areas and the region surrounding the capital city Kiev are within normal limits and do not exceed natural background levels.

    About 1,000 square miles have been completely depopulated and left for nature to reclaim following the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl NPP. Sprawling forests and build up of shrubbery have rendered the area prone to more intense wildfires. 

    On 4 April, the forest fire began near the infamous nuclear disaster site and the SES mobilized early the next day. By April 7, the fires covered 86 acres of territory. Police said they have apprehended the suspected arsonist and have launched a criminal case.

    Ukraine, emergency, wildfires, Chernobyl
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