Strong winds inflame raging fire on Mt. Kilimanjaro- Minister
Strong wind and dry vegetation were inflaming raging fire on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, a senior official said on Thursday.
“The task to put out the fire is hard and very challenging than we had previously thought,’’ Hamisi Kigwangalla, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said on his official Twitter account.
Kigwangalla, who on Wednesday made an inspection tour of areas razed by the fire on the mountain, said arrangements were being made to use helicopters for extinguishing the fire that broke out on Sunday afternoon.
He appealed to well-wishers to donate water and food to the 500-plus firefighters battling the fire and called on Tanzanians to pray for the firefighters and other volunteers.
Apart from the damage done on the vegetation and ecology of the mountain, the fire has also destroyed 12 huts, two toilets and solar equipment used by tourists climbing the mountain, the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) said on its official Twitter account.
Residents in Moshi town, located about 30 kilometres from the slopes of the mountain, said they spotted huge flames from the mountain at night.
On Tuesday, Allan Kijazi, TANAPA’s conservation commissioner, said the fire had destroyed 28 square kilometre of vegetation.
The fire erupted at Whona area, a resting place for climbers of the mountain using the Mandara and Horombo route.
Mount Kilimanjaro, one of Tanzania’s leading tourist destinations, is about 5,895 meters above sea level.
Roughly 50,000 trekkers from across the world attempt to reach the summit of the mountain annually.
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