At least eight people have been killed and 10 are in hospital
after a series of intense forest fires tore through part of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, the emergency service said Thursday (October 1).
The service said in a statement that the fires threatened 22 settlements and engulfed an area of about 36 square miles.
120 people had been evacuated from their homes.
Local authorities said there were a total of 146 fires - 82 of which had been extinguished.
They've said the fires may have been caused by shelling from a nearby area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
The Ukrainian President's office is calling on law enforcement bodies to find the cause of the fires, saying in a statement, quote,
"We also take into account the information about provocative shelling that could have been carried out from the temporarily occupied territory''.
Last month the Ukrainian military accused pro-Russian separatists of violating a ceasefire with government forces.