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Fire flares up in Chernobyl exclusion zone

July 01, 2015, 9:37 UTC+3 KIEV
According to the emergency service, "the radiation situation is stable, exposure dose at the soil surface and radionuclides in the water do not exceed the standard values"
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© EPA/ANDREW KRAVCHENKO/POOL

KIEV, July 1. /TASS/. The fire in the Chernobyl exclusion zone is continuing, and Ukraine’s State Emergency Service has yet been unable to extinguish it, the press service said on Wednesday.

The issue of employing firefighting aviation is under consideration. "As of 7:30 am [local time], efforts on extinguishing fire continue. Ukrainian State Emergency Service’s helicopter is conducting air surveillance to assess the situation and decide on employing firefighting aviation," the press service said in a statement.

According to the emergency service, "the radiation situation is stable, exposure dose at the soil surface and radionuclides in the water do not exceed the standard values." At the same time the service did not provide information about radioactive air contamination.

The Russian Emergencies Service’s press service told TASS that the radiation situation near the Ukrainian border is stable. "Monitoring of the radiation situation is conducted round-the-clock at more than 35 automatic radiation monitoring posts of the integrated security system for population and territories and at 20 automatic meteorological stations. The data is transferred to crisis management centers in Russia’s Bryansk, Belgorod, Kursk and Smolensk regions every 15 minutes," an emergencies ministry representative said. Excess levels of radiation were not registered.

The blaze broke out in the region on June 29, when dry grass and bulrush caught fire on the territory of a forestry complex near the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Ukraine’s Emergencies service said on Tuesday, adding that the fire area is covering around 130 hectares.

The firefighting effort involves 24 pieces of equipment and 117 personnel. A headquarters has been set up and a mobile task force has been deployed to deal with the fire.

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