Zimbabwe: Matopo National Park Fire Put Out

Zimbabwe: Matopo National Park Fire Put Out

4 September 2007

published by allafrica.com

Harare, Zimbabwe — The fire that had been ravaging Matopo National Park since Friday was finally put out on Sunday night, an official said yesterday.Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Retired Major Edward Mbewe said the fire was put out at midnight.

“We managed to finally put out the fire at midnight on Sunday. The previous night, we had managed to control it but there were some small pockets that needed to be dealt with. It was yesterday that we managed to totally bring it to a halt,” said Rtd Maj Mbewe. He said the fire, which destroyed 0,46 percent of the national park did not claim any life.

“The areas which were burnt included the bush and the camping sites where there were no buildings. Around Matopo Dam, two square kilometres of bush was also consumed. However, not even a single animal or a human died,” he said. Rtd Maj Mbewe commended the stakeholders for their quick response in putting out the fire as that action saved thepark.

“I would like to commend the Matopo Research Station, ZRP, Touch the Wild Safaris and others for the collaborative work and quick response to the fire which helped to reduce the damage,” he said. Rtd Major Mbewe said affected animals escaped to the areas where there was grass.

He said they were still assessing the damage and the cost to the authority.

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