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Extreme Heat Causes Wildfires In Ukraine

KYIV -- A regional Ukrainian official has said that peat is smoldering at six locations in the Kyiv region, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Kyiv Oblast administration head Anatoliy Prysyazhnyuk told a session of the regional committee on security and emergency situations that the extremely hot weather had caused peat to ignite in the Borodnya, Ivankiv, Kyiv-Svyatoshyn, and Vasylkiv districts near Kyiv.

But he said no open fires have been reported, and special brigades have been deployed to prevent a full-fledged conflagration.

At least 628 hectares of forest have been damaged by fire in Ukraine in recent days. Hardest hit was the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, where more than 300 hectares of forest have been lost.

Serhiy Vus, the official responsible for the "dead zone" surrounding the former Chornobyl nuclear power station that has been off-limits since the 1986 nuclear disaster at the plant, said today that there have been two minor fires in the restricted zone, but they were immediately localized and extinguished.

Vus said there were no grounds for concern.