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  • Data comprise plot details and radionuclide activity concentrations for Sr-90, Cs-137, Am-241, Pu-238, Pu-239 and Pu-240 in ‘grassy’ vegetation and soil. These radionuclide activity concentrations have been used to make estimations of total weighted absorbed doses to grassy vegetation, deciduous trees and bacteria; no dose rate estimates for grassy vegetation have been made for those sites where grassy vegetation was absent. Radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident killed coniferous trees in a 4-6 km2 area of forest to the west of the power plant. This area is now known as the 'Red Forest’ and it has subsequently regenerated with understorey vegetation and deciduous trees; it is the most anthropogenically contaminated radioactive ecosystem on Earth. In July 2016 a severe fire burnt (to varying degrees) c. 80 percent of the Red Forest; this presented a unique opportunity to study the impact of radiation on the recovery of forest ecosystems exposed to a secondary stressor (fire). To investigate this, in September 2017 the RED FIRE project set up sixty study plots in the Red Forest (in burnt and unburnt areas) with a further nine plots established close to Buriakivka village (approximately 8 km from the Red Forest). Vegetation samples from each plot were harvested using shears in September 2017. Each sample was sorted into ‘grassy’ and ‘other’ vegetation; these were air-dried (20-25 degrees Celsius) and the grassy vegetation samples homogenised prior to radionuclide analyses. Soil core samples collected in September 2017 were bulked, homogenised and sub-samples taken for determination of pH and percentage moisture determined by oven drying (approximately 60 degrees Celsius) to a constant mass. The remaining soil sample was used for the determination of radionuclide activity concentrations; prior to analyses, these samples were dried at approximately 80 degrees Celsius. This work was funded by the NERC, Grant Ref: NE/P015212/1 (RED FIRE: Radioactive Environment Damaged by fire: a Forest In Recovery) Full details about this dataset can be found at