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8 Killed and 10 Hospitalized after the Massive Fire in Forest in Eastern Ukraine

Image from Joint Forces Operation

At least 8 people were killed and 10 have been hospitalized after a series of forest fires broke out on part of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, the emergency service said on Thursday.

The fires engulfed an area of about 9,300 hectares (36 square miles), and threatened 22 settlements, the service said in a statement, adding that 120 people had been evacuated.

The office of Ukraine’s president called on law enforcement bodies to find the cause of the fires, saying: “The reasons for such a large-scale spread of fire must be clearly established.”

“We also take into account the information about provocative shelling that could have been carried out from the temporarily occupied territory ... and could have caused at least some of these fires in such weather conditions,” it said in a statement.

Local authorities said there were a total of 146 fires, 82 of which had been extinguished.

The fires may have been said to caused by to be caused by Russia's forces deliberately firing tracer rounds Sept 30.

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