Dar es Salaam, Tanzania:
A wildfire that officials believed was under control on Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, has flared up again, Tanzanian officials said Tuesday.
The fire started on Friday evening near the Karanga site used by climbers climbing the famous peak, at about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) on the south side.
High winds helped fuel the fire, but a team of some 400 people, including students and volunteers, fought to contain it on Sunday before it lit up in other pockets.
“Last night, fires broke out again in three places that were previously under control,” Eliamani Sedoyeka, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, told reporters.
“This afternoon one area was under control and we are working hard to contain others.”
So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported.
Sedoyeka said the fire posed no threat to tourists on the mountain, a major draw for trekkers and climbers alike.
“We are seeing good progress in fighting the fires and if the weather doesn’t change we will get the situation under control soon,” he said.
The Tanzanian authorities have not yet commented on the extent of the damage.
The risk of catastrophic wildfires is increasing around the world as climate change fuels tinder-dry conditions.
Scientists have warned that human-induced climate change is making extreme weather events, including heatwaves and droughts, more frequent and intense.
Mount Kilimanjaro, with its snow-capped peak, is known all over the world.
The forests surrounding it are part of a national park, and Kilimanjaro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part because it is home to many endangered species.
The latest fire on the mountain comes two years after another week-long fire raged across 95 square kilometers (37 square miles) in October 2020.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)