A wildfire on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, began on Sunday and has since burned over 10 square miles of land. More than 500 volunteer firefighters have been deployed on Africa’s tallest peak to battle the fire. It was contained earlier in the week but erupted once again on Wednesday morning, spreading to 12 homes, two bathroom facilities, and two solar panels, reported Tanzania National Parks today. Currently, the fire is about halfway up the mountain, from about 8,850 to 12,100 feet.
Different scenes regarding fire outbreak on Mount Kilimanjaro. Efforts are underway to contain the fire. We have deployed about 400 pax to counter the outbreak by @PASCALSHELUTETE #TANAPANEWS pic.twitter.com/aVPEGJnKij
— Tanzania National Parks (@tzparks) October 13, 2020
According to Tanzania National Parks, the fire likely started at the Whona area, a rest center for climbers.
Pascal Shelutete, a park communication official, said at a press conference, “There could be more to this fire but preliminary evidence points to Whona where visitors were warming their food. As you know, this is a dry season and fire spreads very fast.”
The fire is likely to damage flora and fauna on the mountain, though ecologists don’t believe any endemic species will be wiped out completely. The increasing number of fires on the mountain recently, however, is cause for concern.