Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Area Sees Spike in Radiation 16 Times Higher Than Normal After Forest Fire

This picture taken on April 5, 2020, shows a person holding a Geiger counter at the scene of a forest fire in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, not far from the nuclear power plant.

A forest fire which broke out in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl over the weekend caused a spike in radiation levels, according to authorities.

The blaze, which ignited on Saturday close to the power plant, quickly spread to cover more than 20 hectares, Ukraine’s civil protection agency said.

“There is bad news—radiation is above normal in the fire’s center,” Yegor Firsov, head of the country’s ecological inspection service said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

In the post, a video was included showing a Geiger counter with a reading indicating that radiation levels were 16 times higher than normal at the site of the fire, AFP reported.

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