Large parts of Mount Kilimanjaro forest cover are currently being consumed by flames which have been raging since Sunday afternoon. Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), which manages the Kilimanjaro National Park within which the mountain is located, has stated that the roaring fires were on the northern slopes of Africa’s highest mountain which are in Rombo District.
“The affected areas include sections of Amboni, Ushiri, Keryo, Kimori and Shimbi,” said TANAPA public relations manager, Mr Paschal Shelutete, in an official release issued.
According to TANAPA officer, early reports indicate that the fire might have been caused by illegal honey harvesters who normally make fires with an aim of driving away bees from their hives or tree holes, so that they can then scoop honeycombs from them.”
So far the total burnt area is estimated at around 40 hectares,” said Mr Shelutete, adding that trespassers had infiltrated into the conservation area through illegal routes in the Amboni section of the mountain’s slopes and as soon as they realised that the fire was becoming uncontrollable, they took to their heels.
TANAPA explained that villagers from Mshiri, Lyasongoro, Amboni, Ushiri and Ikuwini had been contacted and they have already embarked on efforts to combat the raging flames before it could spread farther.In addition to the villagers, squads of anti-riot police from the Field Force Unit (FFU) in Kilimanjaro Region had also joined the exercise to try and put off the raging flames.
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