Fire erupts on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

09 Sep 2023 10:25am
Image for illustrative purposes only. - Facebook
Image for illustrative purposes only. - Facebook

DAR ES SALAAM - A team of 134 firefighters in Tanzania has been dispatched to Mount Kilimanjaro to combat a wildfire that has been raging for nearly a week, authorities announced Friday.

The fire broke out near the Indonet-Rongai area in the Rombo district, Anadolu Agency quoted the Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) as saying in a statement.

TANAPA's senior conservation officer in charge of communications, Catherine Mbena, said the exact cause of the fire, which started Sept 3, is still under investigation.

"We are still in the process of determining the root cause and will inform the public once we have sufficient information," she told Anadolu.

Mbena acknowledged the important role of residents in the Rombo district in supporting firefighters, security and defence personnel in their efforts to control the fire.

Despite the ongoing firefighting efforts, tourism activities around Kilimanjaro continued uninterrupted, Joachim Kimario, a resident of Rombo, told Anadolu.

Although several hectares of forest have been destroyed, he said the fire is largely under control.

Kilimanjaro, the world's tallest free-standing mountain at 5,895 metres above sea level, is particularly susceptible to wildfires due to recurrent droughts exacerbated by the escalating effects of climate change and increased human activities, according to experts.

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The mountain, which attracts approximately 50,000 tourists annually, has experienced frequent fire incidents.

Wildfires and rampant illegal logging have disrupted the ecosystem surrounding the park, affecting the forest belt around the mountain area, said authorities. - BERNAMA-ANADOLU