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Officials: Fire Near Chornobyl Now Fully Extinguished

The Ukrainian State Emergency Service says a large wildfire that broke out in the exclusion zone surrounding the abandoned Chornobyl nuclear power plant has been fully extinguished.

The agency said on its website that at 9 a.m. local time (0600 GMT/UTC) on May 2 the fire was put out.

It said background radiation in the fire area was normal.

The blaze, which broke out on April 28, occurred in woodlands still partly contaminated by the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster.

The blaze had raised fears of increased radiation in Ukraine and neighboring Belarus as high winds pushed the fire toward the plant about 20 kilometers away.

Emergency services deployed more than 300 firefighters, three planes, and one helicopter to battle the blaze, which officials said was the largest in Ukraine since 1992.

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