After a fire broke out on the slopes of Africa’s largest mountain for more than 24 hours, most of Mount Kilimanjaro’s fire was mostly under control, according to Tanzanian authorities on Sunday.
The fire started on Friday night close to the Karanga Hut Camp, which climbers use to reach the well-known summit, at a height of around 4,000 meters on its southern flank.
Latest Update on the Fire fighting efforts
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Professor Eliamani Sedoyeka has said that great efforts have been made to deal with the few remaining spots in Mount Kilimanjaro Park.
Speaking to journalists at the entrance gate of Mweka shortly before starting the journey to the scene to put out the fire, Professor Sedoyeka has explained that the work to put out the fire is progressing well in collaboration with various stakeholders and the exercise is showing great success.
“Despite the fact that we have been able to control the fire from spreading to many areas, there are some areas where the fire is still there, but there is one area on the Mweka side that is still on fire and all the teams are there and we are going to increase our strength and we hope that until the evening we will have greater success,” he emphasized Prof. Sedoyeka.
Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Hon. Ambassador Dr. Pindi Chana has said that the fire that occurred on October 21, 2022 at around 2.30 pm in some areas of the Kilimanjaro National Park continues to be controlled due to the great work of extinguishing the fire is being carried out by the security and defense agencies, various institutions of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, tourism and conservation stakeholders from various tourism companies in this country and citizens.
“Following these efforts, I would like to announce to the public that the firefighting forces have succeeded in controlling the fire in many areas of the mountain. In addition, the fire that was burning from the Millenium Camp towards Marangu Huts and Mweka Hut has also been controlled before reaching these campsites” said Ambassador Dr. Pindi Chana.
She has said that more efforts have been directed to the area with the large Karanga Valley where the fire fighting forces are in the area to ensure that the fire is also under control.
“In general, the exercise is progressing well and we hope to control the fire as time goes by”
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“We’ve had terrific success putting out the fire. Although there is still smoke, it has largely been put out in most regions, according to Eliamani Sedoyeka, a ministry of natural resources and tourism official.
Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, is located in the northeast of the continent at a height of 5,895 meters (19,340ft).
Although the cause of the fire has not yet been determined by authorities, it occurred two years after a 95 sq km-wide fire that burned for a week in October 2020. (37 sq miles).
Regional officials said that the fire began on Friday night and expanded throughout the night due to heavy winds. How much ground it covered couldn’t yet be determined.
On Saturday, a jet that was carrying Tanzania National Parks Authority executives and top local authorities on a visit to assess the situation was unable to land.
The Kilimanjaro prefect, Nurdin Babu, told reporters that “large clouds and the smoke prohibited us from reaching the fire zone.” “When the situation improves, we’ll try again.”
Social media videos appeared to show the flames consuming vegetation and ejecting big, grey clouds of smoke. The parks authority claimed in a statement that 300 individuals, including police, firemen, college students, and tour operator employees, were working tirelessly to put out the fire.
Although Sedoyeka said on Saturday that a climber or honey hunters may have sparked it “carelessly,” the exact reason is still unknown.
An employee of Tanzania’s national parks department named Herman Batiho stated he was “confident” that illicit hunting, poaching or honey extraction by villagers were the causes.
No casualties reported
Authorities stated that visitors to the mountain were not in danger from the fire.
On the south side of the mountain, at a height of about 4,000 meters, the fire was, nevertheless, blazing close to the camp Karanga site that climbers used to scale the mountain.
Uncertainty surrounds the fire’s origin. It occurs nearly two years to the day following another conflagration that burned for a week on the mountain.
The highest point in Africa, Kilimanjaro, is a favorite destination for hikers and mountain climbers.
About 50,000 individuals travel to the top each year.
With its snow-capped top, Mount Kilimanjaro is well-known worldwide. Its surrounding woods are a part of Kilimanjaro National Parks, a refuge for several endangered species that is included by Unesco as a world heritage site.
Kilimanjaro, an iconic mountain with a well-known snow-capped top, and the region around it are categorized as national parks and are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The park, which spans an area of more than 750 km2 and more than 75,000 hectares, is home to a spectacular ecology and a fauna that includes elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and other animals. This volcanic massif, which consists of the three peaks Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is not immune to global warming. Its flora, which first consists of lowlands, mountain forest, high moorland, before an alpine desert and the Mountain top, is noticeably drier as a result.
According to a 2011 analysis on Africa’s climatic condition by the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations weather organization, the “Snows of Kilimanjaro,” lauded by Ernest Hemingway, may potentially vanish by 2040. In a century, the area occupied by glaciers has decreased by 85%, from 11.40 km2 in 1912 to 1.76 km2 in 2011.