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Yesterday, June 5, 2018, a dry grass fire started in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, which rapidly spread to the ‘Red Forest’, a 10-square-kilometre (4 sq mi) area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and one of the most contaminated areas in the world today. 126 Firefighters are currently on site trying to estinguish the radioactive blaze. Officials haven’t sent evacuation orders yet and say the the radiation level is ‘normal’.
According to first official reports, the fire, that started on June 5 at about 10 am, has already burned down more than 10 hectares (about 25 acres) and the radiation levels are ‘normal’. it is impossible to fight the fire properly.
Because of very strong winds, the toxic blaze is not under control. 126 people are currently trying to fight the flames. Two AN-32P and Mi-8 helicopters have been used to make 10 discharges of water (41.5 tons).
According to meteorologists, the wind, today, was blowing in the northern direction – from Chernobyl to Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine. This is also why Irma Krat, a nationalist activist, has already called her readers: “to take children from the streets, to close the windows and every 2-3 hours to wash the rooms’ floor.” and adds: “tomorrow do not walk in the streets of Kiev at any prices and do not get caught in the rain.”
As of 17:30, yesterday, here the radiation background in key points across Ukraine:
- In Kiev, the radiation level is 10 microroentgen per hour (a safe radiation background level is 30 microroentgen per hour).
- In the city of Chernobyl – 24.1 microroentgen per hour (a safe level of radiation background – 50 micro-roentgen per hour).
- On the industrial site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant – 50.7 microroentgen per hour (a safe level of radiation background – 140 microroentgen per hour).
I am wondering what they look like today!
Fires occur regularly in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The most significant one occurred in 2015, when more than 400 hectares had been devastated. Such fires can lead to the secondary spread of radioactive elements far beyond the exclusion zone and have to be controlled as fast as possible.
Could Arson be the cause of this new fire? Meanwhile, strong winds continue to blow!
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