Mt. Kilimanjaro blaze possibly started by ‘fire lit to warm food for tourists’

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A huge fire raging on the slopes of Africa’s largest mountain may have been sparked by a fire lit by to warm food for tourists climbing the peak.

Reports of a large fire on Mount Kilimanjaro first emerged on Sunday afternoon and hundreds of firefighters, residents and students spent days trying to control the blaze as it spread across the mountain’s forestry. Now, the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) says the blaze may have been caused by a small fire lit to warm food for tourists.

Tourist fire sparks major blaze

Pascal Shelutete, of the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) told local press that the most likely cause of the devastating blaze was a small fire started by guides to warm food for tourists scaling Tanzania’s biggest tourist attraction.

A combination of dry weather and strong winds meant the small fire torched dry vegetation in the area and quickly spread out of control.

Mount Kilimanjaro is home to stretches of forest containing diverse wildlife and it could take months to understand the extent of damage caused to the local ecosystem. Authorities say the fire is now under control and assure potential visitors that climbing activities are not affected by the incident.

Featured image: Google Maps

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.