Accessibility links

Breaking News

Mount Kilimanjaro Fire Started Accidentally, Investigators Say

People are seen in an area as the fire spreads between Horombo camp and Mandara on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Oct. 12, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media. (Sydney Lawrence/College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka/via Reuters)

Hundreds of Tanzanian firefighters and citizens are trying to contain a fire on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain at 5,895 meters.

The Citizen newspaper reports that National Park spokesman Pascal Shelutete said the initial investigation found the fire started Sunday by porters servicing climbers at the Whona rest area.

Shelutete told reporters Tuesday the fire, used to warm up food, ignited dry grass and shrubs.

The fire is confined to the Mandara and Horombo trails, Shelutete said, which are no higher than 2,700 meters above sea level.

So far, there are no reports of casualties from the fire on the popular site, which attracts tens of thousands of climbers each year, many determined to reach the peak.

Reuters reports more than two hundred university students from the College of African Wildlife Management, which is near the mountain, are providing food and water for firefighters trying to contain the blaze.