Tanzanian firefighters fought Tuesday to control a blaze on the slopes of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, according to Reuters, the third day of such efforts.
Happening now: Firefighters battle to contain fire on Mount Kilimanjaro. pic.twitter.com/risk1x4Stv
— The Standard Digital (@StandardKenya) October 13, 2020
The fire, initially fanned by strong winds, erupted Sunday at the Whona area, a rest center for climbers using Mandara and Horombo, two of the routes that tourists take up the mountain.
Officials reportedly said that winds had weakened Tuesday.
A Tanzania National Park Service (TANAPA) official, Pascal Shelutete, told Reuters that firefighters and others were getting the blaze under control, saying that it was “almost contained.”
Hundreds of firefighters, residents, and students in the area joined together Monday in an effort to battle the blaze on Kilimanjaro, which rises to almost 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) above sea level.
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
Alex Kisingo, deputy head at the nearby College of African Wildlife Management, explained that the college has sent 264 students and staff to help combat the fire. The students and staff worked with local authorities to help deliver food and water to the firefighters, he said.
“The weather is calm and there is no heavy wind that can spread the fire to other areas,” Kisingo said, according to Reuters.
“The fire could have been contained earlier but the mountainous fire is very tricky,” he continued, adding that there have been no injuries and private property has not been affected. (RELATED: Mount Kilimanjaro Fire: What Is At Risk For The Local Ecosystem?)
Kisingo reportedly said that the blaze could be contained by Tuesday evening, if the calm weather continued.