A Geiger counter shows anincreased radiation level (Yaroslav Yemelianenko/AP)

Ukrainian firefighters have been working throughout the weekend to contain two forest blazes in the Chernobyl nuclear power station exclusion zone.

Approximately 90 firefighters, one helicopter and two water-carrying aircraft were deployed to combat the fires.

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Ukraine’s emergency services said one of the fires, covering about five hectares (12 acres), had been localized and the other fire was about 20 hectares (50 acres). Earlier Sunday, the head of the state ecological inspection service, Yehor Firsov, said the fires had spread to about 100 hectares (250 acres).

Firsov said in the statement that radiation levels at the fire were substantially higher than normal, however, radiation levels in the capital of Kyiv, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south, were within normal ranges.

The fires have occurred within the 2,600-square-kilometer (1,000-square-mile) Chernobyl Exclusion Zone established after the 1986 disaster at the plant that sent a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe. The zone is largely unpopulated, although about 200 people have remained despite orders to leave.

Courtesy of Associated Press