Radiation Spikes 16 Times Above Normal Near Chernobyl

by : Lucy Connolly on : 06 Apr 2020 13:20
Radiation Spikes 16 Times Above Normal Near ChernobylPA Images

Ukrainian officials have noted a spike in radiation levels in the area surrounding Chernobyl after a forest within the exclusion zone caught fire.

Approximately 90 firefighters were deployed to tackle the blaze on Sunday, April 5, with one official confirming the fire had spread over nearly 250 acres – 50 of which were in the restricted area near the old nuclear power plant.


Yegor Firsov, head of Ukraine’s state ecological inspection service, described the situation as ‘difficult’, although he later confirmed radiation levels in the capital of Kyiv were within normal levels.

Ukraine Chernobyl FirePA Images

Firsov shared a video of himself holding a Geiger counter showing a radiation count 16 times higher than normal, alongside a caption which read: ‘There is bad news – radiation is above normal in the fire’s centre.’

After first updating residents of the situation on Saturday, April 4, referencing the ‘smog that can now [be seen by] the residents of Kiev and the surrounding cities’ and reassuring his followers that there was ‘no need to worry at this point’, Firsov’s next post included a warning.


Posting the video on social media yesterday, Firsov wrote (translated to English):

Firefighters continue to fight the fire that originated in the Chernobyl zone. The situation is difficult. The fire spread to the Chernobyl zone of 20 hectares, but more than 100 hectares are burning in total.

Вогнеборці продовжують боротися з пожежою, яка виникла у Чорнобильській зоні. Ситуація складна. Вогонь поширився на Чернобильску зону 20 гектарів, але загалом палає більше 100 гектарів. Як це зараз часто буває, спочатку хтось підпалив траву, а потім вогонь перекинувся і на дерева…Є погані новини – у центрі пожежі радіація вище норми. Як ви бачите на відео, показники приладу становлять 2,3 при нормі 0,14. Але така ситуація тільки в осередку пожежі.На жаль, руки в нас зазвичай доходять до реформ лише тоді, коли трапляється біда. Проблема підпалів трави несвідомими громадянами навесні та восени в нас давно вже стоїть дуже гостро. Втім, штраф за таке порушення досі складає лише 175 грн. І кожен рік ми бачимо одну й ту саму картину – в усіх регіонах палають поля, очерет, ліси. Це варварство необхідно нарешті вже припиняти. На першому ж засіданні парламенту депутати мають суттєво підняти штрафи за підпал трави. За відсутність маски зараз вас можуть покарати на 17 тисяч гривень. А за підпал, який може забрати чиєсь життя (як вже недавно відбулося на Житомирщині), штраф мізерний. Так тривати більше не може. Штрафи за підпали мають бути збільшені у 50-100 разів.Відповідні законопроекти є. Сподіваюся, вони будуть проголосовані. Інакше масштабні пожежі будуть і надалі відбуватися кожної осені та весни.

Posted by Єгор Фірсов on Sunday, April 5, 2020

The State Emergency Service said on Saturday that increased radiation in some areas had led to ‘difficulties’ in fighting the fire, but they were eventually able to localise part of it with the fire no longer visibly burning on Sunday morning, The Guardian reports.


Human Intervention May Be Required At Chernobyl As Radiation Levels Spike

published at8 months ago

Fires such as this one are relatively common in the forests surrounding the former nuclear plant, with Firsov describing the latest blaze as ‘arson’ and calling on the Ukrainian parliament to introduce tougher penalties for those who set fires in such a way.

He urged the government to increase arson fines 100-fold, writing: ‘Every year we see the same picture – in all regions burning fields, reed, forests. This barbaric must finally be stopped. At the first meeting of parliament, deputies should significantly raise penalties for arson. It can’t go on like this anymore.’

Ukraine Chernobyl FirePA Images

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 killed countless people and harmed many more, with the true number of casualties still not known.


After the power plant’s fourth reactor exploded, radiation polluted a large area of Europe, with the region immediately surrounding the plant the worst affected.

People are banned from living within 30 kilometres (18 miles) of the power station, although some have remained in the exclusion zone despite orders to leave.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read


Anti-Vaxx Singer Dies After Deliberately Contracting Covid-19

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Health, Chernobyl, nuclear, radiation, Ukraine


Yegor Firsov/Facebook and 1 other
  1. Yegor Firsov/Facebook


  2. The Guardian

    'Bad news': radiation spikes 16 times above normal after forest fire near Chernobyl