Forest fire blazes in Chernobyl off-limits zone

AP News
Posted: Apr 28, 2015 2:11 PM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Fire has engulfed a large sector of woods in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says the fire is being brought under control.

It is unclear if the fire has hit parts of the zone heavily contaminated by radiation from the 1986 reactor explosion and fire.

A 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) zone around the plant is off-limits to most people except for workers constructing a new shelter to cover the destroyed reactor's building, and to visitors on short trips. The explosion and fire left some sections of the zone heavily contaminated, while other parts were less damaged.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Tuesday the fire involved about 400 hectares (1.5 square miles).