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Ukraine denies Chernobyl fire reports


Kiev : Ukraine denied Friday reports of wildfires in the Chernobyl zone that was heavily contaminated with radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster.

“I’d like to assure you that there are no wildfires in the Chernobyl zone in the heatwave period,” Orest Tyrkevych, head of the Kiev regional department of the emergency situations ministry, said.

Tyrkevych said there was only a grass fire covering 500 square metres in the Chernobyl zone early Friday, Xinhua reported. He said it was extinguished immediately.

“It’s just a minor incident which could not impact the situation in the zone,” Tyrkevych said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials admitted that the danger of fire remained extremely high due to the ongoing heatwave. “The situation with forest fires in Ukraine is very complicated, but controllable,” said Mykola Shershun, chairman of the State Forestry Committee.

Shershun said the most threatening zones were in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the Lugansk region.