Forest fire near the village of Ostrovy, Zhytomyr Oblast, 16 April 2020. Photo: Facebook/Vitaliy Yushkevych.
After massive forest fires were successfully localized in the Chornobyl exclusion zone in the north of Kyiv Oblast on 13 April, wildfires broke out in the neighboring oblast of Zhytomyr and lasted until now.
Here we publish photographs from the epicenter of Zhytomyr fires by RFE/RL with translated original comments.
On April 16, Zhytomyr Oblast picked up the baton from Chornobyl. At first, a forest caught fire right along the border with Belarus. Several hours later the strong wind made the fire reach the settlements of Zhytomyr’s Ovruch Raion and came close to the border crossing point Vystupovychi. Ovruch Raion’s villages of Nizhnia Rudnia, Ostrovy, Mahdyn, and Lychmany lost most of their houses to the fire. Local residents relate such an extent of the fire to the dry winter, deforestation, and a significant drawdown of water level. To curb the fire, the State Emergency Service pulled reinforcements from the neighboring districts and involved a fire-fighting train and aviation. The photographs are from April 18.
Here are more photos taken by activist Vitaliy Yushkevych in the area of Zhytomyr wildfires on 16-20 April:
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reports that the forest fires in Zhytomyr’s Ovruch Raion have been localized as of 18:00, 23 April. However, woods, forest floor, grass are still smoldering in four forest districts. The agency involved 687 people and 100 pieces of equipment in fighting the fires.
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Tags: forest fires