Moshi. Mount Kilimanjaro, which is Africa’s highest peak at nearly 6,000 metres, is on fire.
The cause of the inferno which is believed to be occurring hundreds of metres above sea level is yet to be established.
Eyewitnesses say efforts by local communities to extinguish the wild fires are underway but this is hampered by the altitude of the blaze.
The flames could easily be seen from as far as Moshi town which is some tens of kilometers away from the mountain.
According to the Kilimanjaro National Park (Kinapa), the fire broke out late in the afternoon on Sunday October 11. This was later confirmed by the Tanzania National Parks Communications manager Patrick Shelutete, who said the agency would issue a detailed statement later.
Risk of spread
Mountain climbers on the Marangu route who were at Kibo Hut said they saw the fire in shrubs that are close to Mandara. Given the nature of the vegetation, it could spread further if not contained.
Mount Kilimanjaro has 3 volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. It is the 4th most topographically prominent peak on Earth.
It is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is a popular hiking and mountain climbing destination.
Because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields, it has been the subject of many scientific studies.