Ever since the fires ravaging the forest surrounding Chernobyl have been ablaze, already wiping out close to 100 hectares of land, radiation levels in the area have been soaring.
Europe definitely doesn’t need this right now. Firefighters in the Ukraine have recently mobilised to deal with two forest fires located near Chernobyl, which is obviously a particularly sensitive area.
A sensitive zone
Around 120 firefighters, two planes and a helicopter have been deployed since Sunday to try and contain these two fires, which have already wiped out around 100 hectares of land in the exclusion zone near the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The exclusion zone, which measures 2,600 square kilometres, has been off-limits since the nuclear disaster that took place on 26th April 1986. Although it has recently become a bit of a tourist spot since the HBO mini-series about the disaster was released, the exclusion zone is still prohibited as a result of the high levels of radioactivity. And as a result, nature has well and truly taken over the area!
Radiation levels rising
And to make things even worse, the recent fires have caused radiation levels in the area to soar to 16 times higher than the normal levels. According to authorities, there have been no increases in the levels measured in Kyiv which is nearly 100km away from this area.
Although the fires were partly controlled this weekend, authorities have revealed that several areas of the forest are still burning, but at a slower rate. As a result, this area is still being closely monitored by firefighters and they haven’t ruled out the possibility that the fires could start up again soon.