The fight to contain the forest fire in a conservation area on Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro reaches its fifth day on Thursday. Tanzania’s minister of natural resources and tourism, Hamisi Kigwangalla, said that the fire is threatening the alpine ecological zone, which is inhabited by various creatures including birds, snakes and lizards. He said that the dry conditions, strong winds, and the location of the fire are obstructing the efforts to bring the fire under control.
According to initial reports, the fire was caused by porters heating food for climbers on Sunday, but the probe into the blaze continues. It is to be noted that Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, with a height of 19,443 feet (5,926 metres).
Tanzanian authorities say that as many as 500 volunteers have been trying to put out the fire, whose flames could be seen from miles away. So far, they have managed to limit the fire’s spread. Spokesman Pascal Shelutete said the area still burning is known as Kifunika Hill, adding that the cause of the fire has yet to be established.
Reports on how the fire has affected wildlife or vegetation are awaited.