KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The city hall in Ukraine's capital Kiev on Thursday scrapped classes at schools and pre-schools until the end of the week amid a record-breaking heat wave and peat-bog fires.
Residents of Kiev awoke on Thursday to see the city enveloped in gray smog from fires outside the city and the lack of precipitation to clear the air.
Health authorities say the heat wave and fires have driven air pollution levels to dangerous levels. The city hall in Kiev called on motorists to use public transport and restricted traffic from entering the city.
Kiev broke an all-time record for Sept. 1 when the temperatures reached 35.5 degrees Celsius (95.9 Fahrenheit). Rainfall in August was just 4 percent of the average, according to the local weather forecasters.
Health Ministry spokesman Svyatoslav Protas said air pollution in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday was twice to 18 times higher than the normal levels, depending on the neighborhood.