While the entire world is busy self-isolating and posting millions of memes on the Internet, the issue of forest fires snuck up on us again. This time things could have turned very ugly, as the flames almost reached the infamous Chornobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine.
On April 4, a large-scale forest fire broke out in the exclusion zone near the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. As an immediate response, two aircraft and a helicopter started assessing and then extinguishing the flames. In total, more than 90 firefighters and 18 vehicles were involved in fighting the fire in the first few days. But the strong wind made the situation much worse.
Nine days later, on April 13, more than 400 brave people found themselves in the midst of the blazing action, but the fire was still growing stronger. Three planes and three helicopters were doing rounds above the inferno in desperate attempts to douse the flaming treetops with gallons upon gallons of water.
The fire got seriously close to the industrial complexes for solid radioactive waste management, and if that place lit up, it’d be a start of a new apocalypse. But the situation has finally stabilized thanks to the rain and cold weather, which helped to deal with fires in the exclusion zone. Currently, the situation around Chornobyl is completely localized, and rescuers continue to extinguish individual hot spots.
Here’s the kicker, they found the guy who started the fire. If everything goes well, he’ll go to prison for 2 to 5 years. When asked why he set the forest on fire, the culprit said he did it just for the fun of it. Don’t be like that guy. Stay at home and wash your hands!