KIEV, April 20. /TASS/. One of the four spots of smoldering wood has been localized in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, but the situation remains fire-risky as the weather forecast for the Kiev and its environs looks alarming, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Monday.
"Air reconnaissance of the fire-prone areas was carried out in the morning. In the Chernobyl area one of the four problem spots has been eliminated," Avakov tweeted.
He recalled that a fire-risky situation remained in the neighboring Zhitomir Region, but added that two of the four spot fires had been eliminated.
Avakov warned that the weather was likely to get worse later in the day.
"The wind forecast for today is not very good — up to 20 meters per second. It’s going to be a strong wind," he said, adding that both ground forces and reconnaissance aircraft kept the situation under control.
Earlier on Monday the State Service for Emergencies said efforts were continuing to eliminate smoldering tree stumps, fallen trees and one peat fire inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The total length of firebreaks has been increased to 405 kilometers from 320 kilometers since Sunday. Troops have been employed to do the job. More than 1,000 people and 292 vehicles, including three helicopters are involved in the firefighting effort. On Sunday, rescue aircraft carried out 93 waterdrops over the exclusion zone.
The fire inside the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant broke out on April 4. It destroyed 12 villages, whose residents had been evacuated after the 1986 disaster, and a large forest area. The emergencies service said that by April 15 open fire had been eliminated, but strong wind caused several problem spots the next day.