Dar es Salaam – Tanzanian authorities said on Sunday a fire on Mount Kilimanjaro was under control after flames burned Africa’s tallest mountain for more than 24 hours.
The blaze began on Friday evening near the Karanga site used by climbers ascending the famous peak, at about 4 000 metres (13 000 feet) altitude on its south side.
“The situation is generally under control and we believe it will completely tackled as time goes,” said a statement from the Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, Pindi Chana.
Earlier on Sunday evening, a ministry statement had said that the situation had “to a large extent” been extinguished.
Emergency workers battling to extinguish a #fire on the slopes of Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, have managed to contain parts of it, an official says.#Tanzania #Africanews #Kilimanjaro #News #Sadc #Africafrique #Africa #Afrique pic.twitter.com/mUTeGulwds
— Africafrique Africanews (@Africafrique) October 24, 2022
Local official Nurdin Babu told reporters “everything is under control… we have managed to control the fire to a great extent”.
The blaze left no victims in the tourist hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage site in northeastern Tanzania, where tens of thousands of climbers flock each year to conquer its snow-capped peak.
Hundreds of people including firefighters, national park staff and civilians were mobilised to fight the flames that were fanned by a strong wind.
Social media footage on Saturday showed huge flames consuming vegetation and bushes and giving off grey smoke.
The cause remains unknown but Sedoyeka on Saturday said a climber or honey hunters may have started it “carelessly”.
Herman Batiho, an official at Tanzania’s national parks authority, said he was “sure” human activity was to blame through illegal poaching or locals extracting honey.
The latest blaze comes two years after another fire raged for a week in October 2020 across 95 square kilometres (37 square miles).