Chernobyl Wildfire

A wildfire has recently appeared near the Chernobyl nuclear power plants. Winds increased on Saturday, spreading the fire quickly. Although radiation levels are not at dangerous levels, they have seen an increase since the fires began.

After the nuclear disaster what occured in 1986, the government cleared the local area and set up the Zone of Alienation. The Zone is in a circle shape with about an 18-mile radius surrounding the reactors. Only workers and guided tours are allowed past the barbed-wire fence that encumpasses the Zone of Alienation. Shortly after the explosions in 1986, the radiation levels were extremely high levels. Since then, the radiation has settled into the ground.

Unfortunately, moss, trees, and other plants have soaked up some of that radiation from the ground, and when burned, release the radiation into the air. While not at the same levels as in the late 1900s, the radiation levels in some areas are increasing steadily.

The Ukrainian government now is forced to deal with both a country-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus as well as a spreading wildfire around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear reactors.

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