More than 300 firefighters are working to control the fire that is spreading close to the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, say activists. The firefighters are working through the 18-mile exclusion zone radius. The guides who work close to the former nuclear power plant has said that the government is downplaying the situation.

The firefighters are fighting the situation for the past ten days in Ukraine. The fires which began on April 3 have spread to Pripyat an abandoned town which is one of the closest to the power plant. Earlier NASA satellite images had revealed the extent of the wildfire in Ukraine. Despite the deployment of hundreds of firefighters the fire continues to grow in the northern parts of the country. The locals believe that this is one of the worst fire to hit the area.

Greenpeace Russia representative said that the fires are the worst ones to hit the exclusion zone and this could lead to the spread of the radioactive material to a wider region because of the wind.

NASA images and Greenpeace warnings

Chernobyl
Chernobyl Wikimedia commons

In early April, NASA released the satellite images of the fire. Greenpeace warned that the atoms released during the fire could lead to radiation. The emergency services of Ukraine said that the situation was under control despite the fact that the fire was just a kilometre away from the nuclear powerplant.

The images showed the region around the defunct region having scorched, blackened earth and the charred stumps of trees. According to the Emergency Situation Services said that there was no change in the radiation levels. According to the Greenpeace, the Ukraine government is downplaying the situation. The real data shows a much larger area of the fire. When the fire began the government said that the fire was around 20 hectares while the Greenpeace data said that the fire was of 12,000 hectares in size at that time.

Chernobyl is said to be the site of a nuclear disaster. Chernobyl's Unit 4 reactor was destroyed during the nuclear accident that happened in 1986. The fire is happening as the world along with Ukraine has been battling against coronavirus.