Ukraine — The massive blaze some 10km from the nuclear power plant began on April 28
Smoke from large scale forest fires near Chornobyl does not pose a danger to the Ukrainian capital. That’s according to the national Meteorological Centre. Weather forecasters said on Wednesday that winds blowing from the south-west would push the smoke towards forest and wetland areas on the Belarus-Ukraine border, not towards the Ukrainian capital.
Rescue services also said the Chornobyl nuclear power plant is not under threat and that the background radiation levels in Kyiv region were within normal limits. They added the forest area is not alight near the most contaminated parts of the Chornobyl zone.
Meanwile, some 250 firefighters, three planes and two helicopters are involved in the operation to contain and surround the flames.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was onboard one helicopter to assess the extent of the devastation.
Arseniy Yatseniuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine: “I would want to reassure everybody that the situation is under control and our state emergency services are working very actively to localise the fires. Three planes, one helicopter and several vehicles have been deployed. And serious forces, including those from the interior ministry, are being used to prevent fires from spreading.”
Emergency services battled for hours to stop the spread of the fire, across an area of some 270 hectares, according to Ukrainian news agency TSN. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the blaze of that magnitude in the Chornobyl zone has not been since 1992.