Kilimanjaro fire, significant resources mobilized

On Saturday, October 22, 2022, more than 300 people were sent to douse the fire burning on the slopes of the mountain. Mount KilimanjaroAfrica’s highest peak is located in northeastern Tanzania.

Fire at an altitude of 4,000 meters

The fire, whose origin is still unknown, broke out near Karanga Camp, a trekker’s stop at an altitude of about 4,000 meters on the southern slope of the Roof of Africa (5,895 meters). A journalist from Tanzania tweeted photos of the disaster.

The fire took place exactly two years after the 2020 October 2020 fire spread over 95 km2 of slopes for a week without any casualties.

Regional officials indicated earlier in the afternoon that it did not pose a threat to tourists on the mountain, which is popular with trekkers and mountaineers.

A wind-driven fire

According to regional officials, the exact extent of the fire, which broke out Friday evening and was blown across the region by strong overnight winds, was not determined until Saturday afternoon.

A plane carrying local officials and National Parks Agency (Tanapa) officials to assess the situation could not reach the site on Saturday afternoon.

“Heavy clouds and smoke prevented us from reaching the burning area”Kilimanjaro Region Chief Minister Nurdeen Babu briefed reporters. “Let’s try again when the situation is a little better” he added.

“We don’t have any information on population impact.”

“We cannot comment on the extent of the fire at this time as the focus is on containing the fire.”Regional police chief Yahaya Mdogo said in the afternoon.

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“We don’t have any information on population impacts other than (plants) burning brushwood.”, he added. Videos circulating on social media showed burning vegetation, releasing thick plumes of ash smoke.

UNESCO World Heritage.

KilimanjaroAn iconic mountain whose snow-capped peak is known around the world, the surrounding area is classified as a national park, which is registered in UNESCO World Heritage.

With a total area of ​​more than 75,000 hectares (more than 750 km2), the park has a remarkable ecosystem including fauna such as elephants, buffaloes, wildebeests.

Formed by three peaks (Kibo, Mawenzi, Shira), this volcanic massif has not been spared from global warming, which has especially dried up its vegetation, with plains, montane forests and then highlands, alpine desert and mountain peaks.

A 2011 report by the UN’s weather agency the World Meteorological Organization predicts that the snows of Kilimanjaro, celebrated by Ernest Hemingway, may disappear even by 2040, according to Africa’s climate situation.

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