Forest Fires in Ukraine
30 April 2015
Official information about the radiation situation in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) in the vicinity of the wildfire on 29 April 2015
Source: State Agency of Ukraine on the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Management
The concentration of radiation in the air of the CEZ is monitored by the Automated Radiation Monitoring System (ARMS) continuously on 39 locations. ARMS record the data every hour and in an emergency situation every two minutes. Control of radiation situation in the CEZ zone allows making assessment of radiological consequences of the fire.
Map of ARMS posts in the CEZ and the perimeter of the area affected by the wildfire
Currently, there are nine points of ARMS and mobile operational groups equipped with dosimeters and aspiration devices in the fire area. The radiation level at 12:00h on 29 April 2015 did not change as compared with data before the fire. The following table shows the average values of radiation (nanosievert / hour) in the fire area on 29 April 2015.
Mean value of exposure dose levels (nSv/hour) in the area affected by fire on 29 April 2015 in comparison with long-term average values
Points of Control
Control Level (average)
3. PZRV “Buriakivka”
6. Stara Krasnytsia
Wildfires burning in the Radioactively Contaminated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), Ukraine
Wildfires in the CEZ depicted by the the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on 28 April, 2015 at 11:00 UTC (14:00 Ukrainian time)
Source: Nasa Earth Observatory.
Active fires captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite over the CEZ on 28 April, 2015 at 9:15 UTC (12:15 Ukranian time)
Source: Nasa Earth Observatory
Density of 137Cs contamination in the CEZ. The burned area depicted by MODIS (on Terra and Aqua) on 28 April 2015 reveal the location of the current wildfires in medium-contaminated vegetation of the CEZ.
Source of map: Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring
Center (Kiyv, Ukraine).
Fire Weather Index Forecast for Thursday, 30 April 2015.
Forest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant – Ukraine Interior Ministry
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 (edited 29 April 2015 09:59)
The Ukrainian National Guard has been put on high alert due to worsening forest fires around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
"The forest fire situation around the Chernobyl power plant has worsened," a statement on Avakov's Facebook page says.
"The forest fire is heading in the direction of Chernobyl's installations. Treetop flames and strong gusts of wind have created a real danger of the fire spreading to an area within 20 kilometers of the power plant. There are about 400 hectares [988 acres] of forests in the endangered area."
Police and National Guard units are on high alert. Ukraine’s Prime Minister personally went to the affected area to oversee the firefighting. He says the situation is under control, “but this is the biggest fire since 1992.”
However, in comments to Russia’s Moscow Speaks radio, a representative of Greenpeace Russia said that the situation is much worse: “A very large, catastrophic forest fire is taking place in a 30-km zone around the Chernobyl power plant. We estimate the real area of the fire to be 10,000 hectares; this is based on satellite images. This hasn't been officially acknowledged yet.”
The potential danger in this fire comes from the radioactive contaminants the burning plants have absorbed, ecologist Christopher Busby told RT. “Some of the materials that were contaminating that area would ahve been incorporated into the woods. In other words, they land on the ground in 1986 and they get absorbed into the trees and all the biosphere. And when it burns, they just become re-suspended. It's like Chernobyl all over again. All of that material that fell on the ground will now be burned up into the air and will become available for people to breathe." Christopher Busby is the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks.
Ecologist Dmitry Shevchenko from the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus says it is difficult to predict where exactly the contaminants will go: “We don't have a real-time monitoring system for the Chernobyl area. We can hypothesize whether the radionuclides will go here or there, but there is no-one who can reliably predict the situation."
Ukrainian emergency services say 182 people and 34 vehicles have been dispatched to fight the fire. A Mi-8 helicopter and three An-32 water dropping airplanes are also working at the scene. The efforts are being coordinated from a mobile emergency headquarters.
According to the head of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone management department, radiation levels in the area remain normal. “The area on fire is relatively clean,” Vasily Zolotoverkh told the newspaper kp.ua. He said the fire started at lunchtime, when emergency workers had finished putting out an earlier blaze which started during the night. The emergency services have stated that it could have been caused by a lit cigarette.
Ukraine's acting head of emergency services said earlier the forest fires were not a threat to the sarcophagus sealing off Chernobyl's crippled Reactor 4.
Chernobyl and the surrounding area have been abandoned and remain off-limits following the April 1986 disaster, when an explosion and fire released massive amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. Increased radiation levels were detected throughout Europe.
Chernobyl became the worst nuclear disaster in world history in terms of casualties and clean-up costs. Reactor 4, where the blast took place, was sealed off in a giant reinforced concrete sarcophagus to prevent further leaks.
An aerial view from a helicopter shows fire on the ground in northern Ukraine, April 28, 2015. (Video) (Source: Reuters/Andrew Kravchenko/Pool)
RT news Video
Helicopter footage fire in Chernobyl
Source: http://rt.com/news/253897-chernobyl-fires-rage-ukraine/, with permission of http://rt.com/ (http://rt.com/legal-disclaimer/)
The fire in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ)
Tuesday, 28 April 2015, 18:24
As of 1800 on 28 April 2015. The total area of fire is more than 2000 ha. The nature of the damage territories and arrays is determined, fire controlled and is in the phase of localization instructions. Involve additional forces and means of fire extinguishing systems. According to control capacity exposure dose as at the current time does not exceed the control results. Indicators of radionuclides content in the air and background radiation not exceed the established control levels.
The fire in the CEZ
Tuesday, 28 April 2015, 11:59
O2330 zone in the village. Illintsi (quarters 413-415 Lubyanka Slavic forestry), where the fire in extinguishing which was attended by representatives of the Lubyanka Slavic forestry and Lubyanka Slavic Lps not less than 15 persons. Used vehicles: AC-40 (1 unit), АРС (1 unit), MTZ-82 (1 thousand).
27 April 2015 at 07:30 h the fire was partly localized two bonfires on the area of 4.2 and 4.0 hectares. However, due to the strong wind gusts at 1400 fire overturned on new square and covered 169-414 quarters Lubyanka Slavic arrived forestry. For its extinguishing were involved additional equipment and personnel of: AC-40 (3 units), АРС (1 unit), MTZ-80 (3 units), UAZ (1 units) and 36 employees, Корогодського Паришівського and Опачицького forestry, as well as personnel ДПРЧ of 30 persons.
On the night of 27 to 28 April 2015. In point of radioactive waste (burial) "Buriakivka" a fire that due to wind seized the north-western edge of burial. As a result of fire 10% territory PZRO burned out herbal flooring. At 28 April 2015 the total area of the fire is about 2000 ha. The nature of the damage territories and arrays is determined, fire controlled and is in the phase of localization instructions.
According to control capacity exposure dose at 28 April did not exceed control results. Control level (for this territory) in terms of radionuclides content in the air and of the dose rate, not exceeded.
Source: Chernobyl Agency
Kiev region: Rescuers quickly fires in the territory of a special plant "Chernobyl Forest"
28 April 2015, at 12:45h.
To the Rescue Service of Kiev region a fire was reported on three separate local forest blocks in the special plant "Chornobyl Forest". Engaged in firefighting 182 men and 32 pieces of equipment, including the State Emergency Service - 130 personnel and 24 vehicles. From State Forestry Agency involved 5 fire trucks, 3 tractors with plows and 52 firefighters.
To conduct aerial reconnaissance and engaged in firefighting helicopter Mi-8 with water bucket and EUROCOPTER and two AN-32P planes are engaged. At 15:00h they made the first discharge of water on fire and extinguishing continues. At the scene came as emergency personnel from Ivankivsky and Vishgorod and the district's Kyiv region consisting of 52 personnel and 9 vehicles. To enhance the grouping Fire and Rescue Force in addition to the fire sent 30 personnel and 7 vehicles on PG DSNS in Ukraine, Kiev. The emergency service is deployed field headquarters for managing firefighting, running mobile operational group headed by the Deputy Directorate DSNS Ukraine in Kyiv region Alexander Tkachenko, DSNS working team.
Київська область: рятувальники ліквідовують пожежу на території спеціального комбінату “Чорнобильська пуща” (СТАНОМ НА 18:00)
28 квітня, о 12 год. 45 хв.
до Служби порятунку Київської області надійшло повідомлення про пожежу окремими осередками на трьох лісових кварталах на території спеціального комбінату “Чорнобильська пуща”.
До гасіння пожежі залучено 182 чоловіка та 34 одиниці техніки, у тому числі від ДСНС 130 чоловік особового складу та 25 одиниць техніки. Від Держлісагентства залучено 3 автоцистерни, 2 авторозливні станції, 3 трактори з плугами та 52 працівники.
Для проведення повітряної розвідки і гасіння осередків пожежі залучено вертоліт Мі-8 з водозливним пристроєм (здійснено 11 скидів), “Єврокоптер” та три пожежні літаки АН-32 П (здійснено 5 скидів).
Н місце події працює особовий склад Іванківського, Вишгородського та Бородянського районів Київської області у складі 52 чоловік особового складу та 9 одиниць техніки, 30 чоловік особового складу та 7 одиниць техніки від ГУ ДСНС України у м. Києві.
На місці події розгорнуто штаб пожежогасіння, працює мобільна оперативна група на чолі з першим заступником ГУ ДСНС України у Київській області Олександром Ткаченком.
Координацію дій з гасіння лісової пожежі здійснює виконуючий обов’язки Голови Зорян Шкіряк.
Source: Ministry of Emergency Situations:
Firefighters Battle Forest Fire Threatening Chernobyl (published by http://www.nbcnews.com 29 April 2015)
Additional Information on Radioactive Fire in Ukraine and Neighbouring Belarus and Russian Federation
The following special GFMC website provides background materials and activities to address the problem of fire management on contaminated terrain.
Website of the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (Kiyv, Ukraine):
Press release of the REEFMC of 30 April 2015 (Ukrainian, PDF, 1.0 MB)
Press release of the REEFMC of 30 April 2015 (English, to follow)
Compilation of published press releases of REEFMC and GFMC Update of 30 April 2015 (Ukrainian and English, PDF 2,0 MB)
VI International Fire Management Week held in Kyiv / Boyarka, Ukraine, 25-27 March 2015
Wildland Fire related news from the Media: Note: The hyperlinks on the left side of each news are password-protected (User ID and password to enter the GFMC database are
available for partners of GFMC). The links on the right side (in brackets) are leading to the original news source; sometimes these news are expiring rather swiftly - a reason for the
establishment of the internal GFMC database):
Ukraine: Chernobyl nuclear radiation fears from smoke plumes after bushfires in exclusion zone (published by www.news.com.au 30 May 2015)
Ukraine: Chornobyl forest fire latest: Forecasters predict smoke poses no threat to Kyiv (published by http://uatoday.tv 29 April 2015)
Ukraine: Forest fire breaks out near Chernobyl nuclear plant (published by www.bbc.com 28 April 2015)
Ukraine: Forest Fire in Ukraine Approaches Chernobyl Disaster Site (published by www.wsj.com 28 April 2015)
Ukraine: Forest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant – Ukraine Interior Ministry (published by http://rt.com 28 April 2015)
Ukraine/GFMC: The Ukraine conflict’s legacy of environmental damage and pollutants (published by http://sustainablesecurity.org 21 April 2015)
For more media reports see GFMC Media page: http://www.fire.uni-freiburg.de/media/news.htm