Forest Fires Approaching Chernobyl Plant Pose ‘Catastrophic’ Radioactive Threat

Warnings of a “catastrophic threat” are looming as forest fires continue to edge toward the radioactive dumps located in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

forest fires are seen burning at night from former Chernobyl nuclear power plant
Kirill Garnik via Dailymail

Prior Location of World’s Worst Nuclear Accident in 1986

Photos show that smoke is blowing over reactor number four. This is where the world’s worst nuclear accident happened in 1986, in the former USSR. The 1986 explosion sent radioactive fallout across Europe and exposed millions of people to dangerous radiation levels. The government at that time covered up the accident.

Experts believe that “crown fires,” which are fires that speed along treetops, are advancing toward the dead zone that surrounds the uninhabited nuclear plant.

The State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management says that one of the fires is located just three miles away from the highly radioactive dumps. Another fire is burning around the Kriva Gora ghost village, while yet another is located 16 miles away.

Additional flames burned just one mile away, but authorities say they extinguished those. They also cut down trees in the area to help prevent the crown fires from getting too close.

Anton Herashchenko, the Deputy interior minister, said: “The forest was specially cut down around the storage in order to avoid the threat of fire.” Herashchenko claims that an expert told him, “There would be nothing to burn, even if everything there is filled with napalm.”

Related: Wildfires Spreading Rapidly in California, Closing Highways and Forcing Evacuations

Residents Told Not to Listen to ‘Apocalyptic Messages’

Kyiv residents worry about the impending flames, for good reason. Despite this, officials say not to listen to “apocalyptic messages.” The residents are currently under lockdown for coronavirus.

Although they’ve been assured of their safety, the residents are contradicting the idea that the area isn’t dangerous.

Anton Yuhimenko, the Head of the Association of Chernobyl Tour Managers, spoke to He told them there is a “real excess of radiation.” This was specifically for the Red Forest area of the zone.

“After 3 pm [on Monday], the wind changed direction, and the fire went towards Chernobyl nuclear plant,” said Yuhimenko. “This is now dangerous for the station itself. Eyewitnesses who are involved in extinguishing the fire said that the situation is catastrophic, the infrastructure facilities around the station is already burning.”

“From the side of the city of Pripyat there is a sludge site that prepares radioactive waste before sending it to [storage],” he continued. “The fire was recorded as being there. There was ‘dirty’ oil waste and turbines, and the forest adjacent to them. It was just awful. This is really dangerous.”

Related: NASA Detects HUGE Meteor Explosion, 10x the Energy of Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Arsonist Allegedly Responsible for Chernobyl Forest Fires

Yuhimenko alleges that the fires might be the result of arson. “There are clear facts. The Chernobyl zone began to burn in different places almost simultaneously. This does not happen by itself.”

Reportedly one arson suspect has been detained, but Yuhimenko said, “Our state does not react to what is happening at all. It seems that in Ukraine, nothing happens except coronavirus. And the fact that the entire Chernobyl zone is on fire is of no interest to anyone.”

However, President Vladimir Zelensky says that the Chernobyl fires are being monitored. The Emergencies Ministry in Russia’s Bryansk region are also monitoring the radiation levels. So far, they say the levels are normal.

Related: UK Defies Trump, Allows Huawei to Install 5G Phone Infrastructure