Forest fires in Chernobyl

Forest fires in the Chernobyl zone

The Chernobyl zone is a unique region. The so-called Ukrainian Polesie. After the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, an evacuation of the population and the agricultural industry was required. According to all the forecasts made by scientists in those years, normal life for flora and fauna will not be possible here for many decades to come. But here is a surprise that nature can present. After a few years, life begins to recover in the Chernobyl zone. Despite the injuries caused by the Chernobyl disaster to these places, the flora and fauna managed to be reborn like a phoenix from the ashes.

Today, in the Chernobyl radiation-ecological biosphere reserve 70 species of mammals (12 red-listed), 11 amphibian species, 7 reptile species, over 200 bird species (37 red-book) have been recorded.

Fires in the Chernobyl zone can actually be considered ordinary business since almost every year fires occur in the zone, usually in the hot season. This year was no exception. It even stood out from all the previous ones. Starting from April 3, 2020, fire at the incipient stage of leaf litter were recorded on the western outskirts of the Chernobyl zone.  An immediate units of the State Emergencies Ministry were raised on alert. Due to the fact that the winter was abnormally dry, fire from the outskirts of the exclusion zone rapidly began to move eastward, to the center of the zone. In less than a week, individual outbreaks of fires with an approximate area of ​​20 hectares were observed in the area of ​​the former village of Chistogalovka, which after the explosion of the fourth reactor was under a heavy radioactive trail, which drove west from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Taking into consideration the fact that the Chernobyl zone is not just a reserve, but, first of all, the territory exposed to radioactive contamination, the data from the automated radiation situation monitoring were analyzed on-line, and the control over the radiation situation was strengthened.

During the interval between April, 8 - 9, fire went through the iconic tourist spots of the 10 kilometer zone, namely: the buried village of Kopachi, where there was a well-known stalker parking lot in an abandoned trolley that served as a change house during the liquidation of the accident. Also, the fierce fire turned into dust the former recreation center "Emerald" which was located in a dense part of a pine forest. Unfortunately, this location became a thing of the past, which remained only in the memory of those who visited this wonderful place. There were great fears that the flame could reach the territory of the former secret facility "DUGA-1" and incinerate it as well as the neighbouring military town of Chernobyl 2. Fortunately, this did not happen.

By April 11, almost half a thousand people were operating in the exclusion zone, fighting against blaze, who tried tirelessly to prevent the spread of fire. Nearly a hundred pieces of equipment including fire aircraft and heavy military machinery such as heavy engineering tanks (track-laying) BAT 2 worked in difficult conditions to create fire-fighting glaciers and extinguishing in hard-to-reach places from the air.

Ever since the World War II, these places were considered difficult to pass because of the specifics type of lands of the Polessky Territory. A huge number of ponds, swamps, forest areas with a nightmarish windbreak and the remains of irrigation canals made themselves felt at this very moment, which in turn made it difficult to combat the raging elements.

On April 12, fire went through the village of Leliv and was on the outskirts of the town of Chernobyl, but the fire knocked out by the forces of the fire brigades. Unfortunately, the village of Leliv was not saved.


As of April 13, the fire was rapidly moving northward, and in a short time approached the former railway station Yaniv, which is located just south of the former city of power engineers. The fire spread across the railway line and headed towards the most famous tourist location, the city of Pripyat. But here, dear reader, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The flame was eliminated and the city of Pripyat was not injured, which cannot be said for part of the notorious red forest. In 2019, the site of the red forest was destroyed by another forest fire, but not completely. This year, the red forest will resemble something terrible, gloomy and most likely the location from any work based on the books of S.T.A.L.K.E.R ..

In total, the April forest fire in the exclusion zone destroyed about two dozen abandoned villages and several well-known tourist locations

But still it spared the most valuable, and also did not touch the most dangerous. During this terrible period, nothing threatened the Chernobyl nuclear power plant with its burial grounds in the vicinity.

All life in the world is afraid of fire with good reason. Indeed, when a person loses control over the situation, especially concerning to wild blaze, it can become a disaster that can destroy all life on its way and stop the raging elements is always very difficult!

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