Forest fire hits large section of off-limits zone around destroyed Chernobyl reactor

Fire is raging in the woods in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl plant in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian State Service for Emergency Situations said in a statement on Tuesday that the fire started Monday evening and that as of early Tuesday morning firefighters still have not brought it under control.

It was unclear if the blaze has hit parts of the zone heavily contaminated by radiation from the 1986 reactor explosion and fire, although authorities said the fire swept through about 130 hectares (half a square mile). A 30-kilometer (20-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.

There were no immediate reports of increased radiation levels in the area.