Wildfires in the Core of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ), Ukraine
30 July 2016
According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine a wildfire started on 29 July 2016 near Pripyat city, in the most contaminated core zone of the ChEZ. The fire burned in the area of the so-called "Red Forest", which died immediately after the failure of the nuclear reactor in 1986. The area is now covered with mixture of pine and birch forests, which survived the disaster, and by succession of shrubs and grasses. The area of the wildfire was around three hectares at the time when the ChEZ fire brigades arrived on scene. Seven fire engines (ZIL) of ChEZ State Forestry Enterprise, six engines of the ChEZ Emergency Service, 45 professional fire fighters (both forestry and emergency), two aircraft AN-32P and one helicopter with helibucket (MI-8) were engaged for fire suppression. At 18:00 on 29 July 2016 the wildfire was contained and suppressed.
According to the results of the radiation survey by the "Ecocenter" the volume activity of 137Cs in the air near the fire line on 29 July 2016 at 17:00 h was 1.5x10-1 Bq / m3. This level exceeds the reference levels established by the norms "Basic reference levels , release levels and action levels on the radioactive contamination of objects exclusion zone and zone of unconditional (obligatory) resettlement" by 15 times. The equivalent dose rate at 1 m height above soil surface was 5-12 MSv/h, the density of beta particles ranged from 200 to 800ppm/cm2 x min. This high level of air contamination is related to the fact that the location of fire is characterized by high level of radioactive contamination.
Previous news about wildfires burning about wildfires burning in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), Ukraine, 17 July 2016 (published by: http://www.lesovod.org.ua/node/29754)
Latest update regarding the forest fire in the ChEZ (17 July 2016. at 13:00 local)
As of 13:00 of July 17 smoldering of forest cover and shrubs is being observed in a separate spot on a territory of 10 ha. No danger to the objects located in the EZ is posed. 33 units of machinery and 155 people are engaged in the suppression process, among them - 28 units of machinery and 142 people are provide by State Emergency Service of Ukraine (including 1 MI-8 Helicopter with water-dropping device and 3 AN-32P Planes). There is no threat of further fire spread. Situation is contained.
From the Ukrainian media: Forest Fires in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ)
In the ChEZ in particularly near Radioactive Waste Storage Buriakivka firefighting operations started
16 July 2016, 22:29
Individual fires burning up to 15 hectares (ha) have been reported by the press center DSNS (State Emergency Service of Ukraine). It is noted that threatened objects are located in the ChEZ. Fire rescue units and DSNS fire aviation and forestry workers of "Chernobyl Pushcha" are involved in firefighting with 20 vehicles and 81 people, including DSNS of 12 vehicles and 51 personnel representative, MI-8 helicopters with helibuckets and AN-32P fixed wing air tankers. The operations are coordinated by the Deputy Chief of DSNS in the Kiev region. The radiation background in the exclusion zone is in the normal range and averages 0.3-0.4 mSv/h (safe level of background radiation: 0.5 mSv/h):
Information on Radioactive Fires in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (Ukraine) and Neighbouring Belarus and Russian Federation in 2015 (REEFMC / GFMC summaries)
Ukraine 30 April 2015:
Ukraine 29 April 2015:
Ukraine 28 April 2015:
Additional Information on Radioactive Fires 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.
This website includes also the special OSCE / GFMC / REEFMC report on Fire Suppression in Contaminated Areas, with Focus on Radioactive Terrain:
Website of the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center (REEFMC) (Kiyv, Ukraine):
Press release of the REEFMC of 30 April 2015 (Ukrainian, PDF, 1.0 MB)
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 this 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 conflicts legacy of environmental damage and pollutants (published by http://sustainablesecurity.org 21 April 2015)
For more media reports see GFMC Media page: