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Forest fire hits large section of zone around Chernobyl reactor

  • A firework plane extinguishes a forest fire in the Chernobyl area, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Fire engulfed a large sector of woods in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant Tuesday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the fire was the worst in the area for more than two decades, but that the blaze was under control. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

    A firework plane extinguishes a forest fire in the Chernobyl area, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Fire engulfed a large sector of woods in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant Tuesday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the fire was the worst in the area for more than two decades, but that the blaze was under control. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • A firework helicopter extinguishes a forest fire in the Chernobyl area, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Fire engulfed a large sector of woods in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant Tuesday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the fire was the worst in the area for more than two decades, but that the blaze was under control. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

    A firework helicopter extinguishes a forest fire in the Chernobyl area, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Fire engulfed a large sector of woods in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant Tuesday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the fire was the worst in the area for more than two decades, but that the blaze was under control. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Fire has engulfed a large sector of woods in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says the fire is being brought under control.

It is unclear if the fire has hit parts of the zone heavily contaminated by radiation from the 1986 reactor explosion and fire.

A 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) zone around the plant is off-limits to most people except for workers constructing a new shelter to cover the destroyed reactor's building, and to visitors on short trips. The explosion and fire left some sections of the zone heavily contaminated, while other parts were less damaged.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Tuesday the fire involved about 400 hectares (1.5 square miles).