The forest, now known as Red Forest, is 202 hectares (499 acres) of coniferous trees, mainly pines, on the outskirts of Pripyat. It fell under the Western radiation trail immediately after the accident. The deadly level of radiation for pine trees is 4 times lower than for humans. The pine trees burned within 30 minutes of irradiation, from the excessive amount, and over the next two days, all the trees in this area turned first a red and then a ginger color, and at night they visibly glowed. In the first weeks of disaster clean-up operations, about 150 hectares (370 acres) were cut down.
The trees were buried in the ground with the help of IMRs (engineering clearing vehicles built on the basis of tanks). This technique was subsequently one of the most “backgrounding” and the drivers received high doses of radiation. Today’s Red Forest consists of new trees that grew in the same place. The level of radiation here has decreased significantly, but is still unsafe. The famous pine-cross grew in the Red Forest.
This article was published in the book Interesting Chernobyl.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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