Extraordinary high aerosol contamination observed in the atmosphere over Kyiv city, Ukraine, during the March – April 2020 period. The source of contamination was the large grass and forest fires in the northern part of Ukraine and the Kyiv region. The level of PM2.5 load investigated using newly established AirVisual sensors mini-network in five areas of the city. The aerosol data from the Kyiv AERONET sun-photometer site analyzed for that period. Aerosol optical depth, Angstrom exponent, and the aerosol particles properties (particles size distribution, single-scattering albedo, and complex refractive index) were analyzed using AERONET sun-photometer observations. The smoke particles observed at Kyiv site during the fires in general correspond to aerosol with optical properties of biomass burning particles. The variability of the optical properties and chemical composition indicates that the aerosol particles in the smoke plumes over Kyiv were produced by different burning material and phases of vegetation fires at different time. The case of enormous PM2.5 aerosol contamination in Kyiv city reveals the need to accept strong measures for forest fire control and prevention in Kyiv region, especially in the north-west region where radioactive contamination from Chornobyl disaster is still significant.
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