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Firefighters In Tanzania Battle Blaze On Mount Kilimanjaro

(Photo: PETER MARTELL/AFP via Getty Images)

Elizabeth Louise Contributor
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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.

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.

People are seen in an area as the fire spreads between Horombo camp and Mandara on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania October 12, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media. Sydney Lawrence/College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka/via REUTERS

A fire spreads in an area between Horombo camp and Mandara on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania October 12, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media. Sydney Lawrence/College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka/via REUTERS

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.

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.