For more than a week, employees of Ukraine’s State Emergency Service have been fighting with a major fire in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. Let’s see, how it all began and how the situation looks now.
April, 4. At 13:22, rescuers received information that a wild forest fire occurred in the exclusion and mandatory resettlement zone, near the village of Volodymyrivka (Kotovsky forestry). The area of ignition is 20 hectares. 90 firefighters and 18 pieces of equipment, including aviation, were involved in the extinguishing.
April, 5. In the morning, two An-32 State Emergency Situations aircraft flew into the exclusion zone.
Rescuers put out two fires on a total area of 25 hectares.
Acting Head of the State Ecological Inspectorate Yehor Firsov said that a total of 100 hectares is on fire: "The situation is complicated. The fire spread to the Chornobyl zone of 20 hectares, but in general, more than 100 hectares are embraced by fire."
According to him, an increased level of radiation is fixed in the center of the fire. At the same time, the State Emergencies Ministry reported that in Kyiv and the region it does not exceed the norm.
April, 6. No new fires were found. Rescuers announced the cause of the fire – "human activity."
"You see, the cause of all the fires is in the Chornobyl zone and in the Kyiv region is 99%human activity," Victoria Ruban, the speaker of the State Emergency Situations in the Kyiv region, said.
Law enforcers opened a criminal case under the article "Violation of fire safety requirements established by law."
On the same day, police reported the detention of a suspect. It turned out to be a 27-year-old resident of the village of Rahivka. In his own words, he has for fun set fire to grass and garbage in three places, after which the fire went further, and extinguishing the flame was just impossible.
A case has been opened against a man under part 1 of article 245 (“Destruction or damage to plant world objects”) of the Criminal Code.
April, 7. Rescuers continue to fight with fire, 104 people and 26 pieces of equipment were involved in the extinguishing, of which one Mi-8 helicopter, which made 19 discharges of water with a total volume of 38 tons.
In Kyiv and Kyiv region, the radiation background does not exceed normal limits and does not exceed natural background values.
April, 8. In the Chornobyl zone, grass and forest litter continue to burn in separate foci.
Grass also burns in the Kotovsky forestry of the exclusion zone, but there is no spread of fire.
Head of the Department of Ecology of Flora and Fauna in the Chornobyl Radiation-Ecological Biosphere Reserve Denys Vishnevsky posted these photos on his Facebook:
April, 9. The radiation background is normal. Fire extinguishing continues on the territory of Denysovetsky, Kotovsky, and Korogodsky forestries.
326 people and 84 pieces of equipment work on the spot, including 6 units of aviation technology.
April, 10. There is burning of grass flooring, reeds and forest litter in separate foci.
About 400 people and 100 units have already been attracted to extinguishing. equipment (including 3 An-32P aircraft and 2 helicopters).
The power of the equivalent dose of gamma radiation has not changed, but air pollution is predicted in some areas of the Kyiv and Kyiv region.
April, 11. In the afternoon, the wind intensified. According to Serhiy Gashchak, a biologist from the Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste, and Radioecology, "three walls of smoke have already risen above the zone."
Here's how it looked:
April, 12. All the same picture. Korogodske, Kotovske, and Denysivetske forestry - grassy flooring, reeds, and forest litter are burning with separate foci.
Unofficial data as for April 12
Natalya Degtyarenko, an employee of the press service of Energoatom, said that a number of villages, the territory of the closed military town of Chornobyl-2 and the Red Forest, had burned down.
April, 13. The radiation background is not exceeded. The fire is localized, its elimination continues. “Our workers are being rotated, rescue teams are changing. The radiation background is not exceeded in the places where the work is being carried out, both in the Kyiv region and in Kyiv,” Viktoria Ruban noted in a commentary to 112 Ukraine.
According to her, much depends on weather conditions and gusts of wind. During the flight around the territory, new foci are found in the morning and evening.
“Other centers are found where our rescuers move to extinguish the fire. The geography is very large… now it burns in different places almost at a distance of more than 100 km,” she added.
As of 12:00, localization of fires continues on the territory of the Korohodsky and Denysovetsky forestries.
Yaroslav Emelianenko, head of the Association of Chornobyl tour operators, said that the National Guard came to the Chornobyl zone to extinguish a fire.
On the morning of April 4, the Chornobyl Radiation-Ecological Biosphere Reserve published a photo, signing them: "Deers cross the Uzh River, and Przhevalsky’s horses walk near the village of Rudnya-Veresnya."
On April 5, biologist Denys Vishnevsky also shared pictures of Przhevalsky's wild horses on his Facebook.
A week after the start of the fire, the Chornobyl Tour showed this video. On it, two Przewalski’s horses are already riding on scorched earth.
Tourist location – “Smaragdovy” camp. Before the fire:
After the fire: