29 Apr 2015

Ukraine battles fire near Chernobyl

8:34 am on 29 April 2015

Emergency services in northern Ukraine are battling to prevent the country's largest forest fire since 1992 from spreading towards the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

A plane drops water on a forest fire near Ukraine's old Chernobyl nuclear plant.

A plane drops water on a forest fire near Ukraine's old Chernobyl nuclear plant. Photo: ANDREW KRAVCHENKO / UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER PRESS / AFP

The prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, said the fire was about 20 kilometres from the plant but the situation was being controlled.

Earlier, the interior ministry had warned that high winds were blowing the fire towards Chernobyl, where a 1986 reactor fire led to the world's worst nuclear disaster.

There is a 30 kilometre exclusion zone around the plant, which remains contaminated by radioactive particles.

A forest fire near Ukraine's old Chernobyl nuclear plant.

Photo: ANDREW KRAVCHENKO / UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER PRESS / AFP

A forest fire near Ukraine's old Chernobyl nuclear plant.

Photo: ANDREW KRAVCHENKO / UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER PRESS / AFP

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