Tanzanians are currently mobilizing to help firefighters put off a blaze on Mount Kilimanjaro that started on Sunday, Oct 11, 2020.
On Sunday, October 11, 2020, Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) said in a Twitter post that fire had broken out at the Mount Kilimanjaro today and that efforts to contain it were underway.
The following day, Monday, October 12, Tanapa issued a statement saying that the fire started at the Whona area, a rest centre for climbers using Mandara and Horombo, two of the several routes up the mountain.
Reuters reported Tuesday, October 13, 2020, that the fire was caused by strong winds on Sunday, Oct 11, 2020.
Tanapa spokesperson Mr Pascal Shelutete said in a press conference Monday that people living in the communities surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro, various government institutions as well as students from different universities in Kilimanjaro Region have mobilized to contain the fire.
“Altogether, and in collaboration with the various police forces from TANAPA, drawn from various areas of the park, arrived [at the mountain] early in the morning [on Monday, Oct 12] to help contain the fire at the Horombo area,” said Mr Shelutete.
According to a story by Al Jazeera, every year, some 50,000 tourists climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which rises to 5,895 metres (nearly 20,000 feet) above sea level.
At the Monday’s press conference, Mr Shelutete said that tourist activities at Mount Kilimanjaro had not been affected. He also urged people who plan to go climbing the mountain not to postpone their plans.
“Let me assure Tanzanians that TANAPA has taken all necessary precautions to ensure that the fire that broke out [on Sunday] does not affect in any way mountain climbing done by tourists,” he said.