Another fire ravages Etosha – by Irene !Hoaës

Another fire ravages Etosha – by Irene !Hoaës    

24 October 2011

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Namibia — the third time, the Etosha National Park has been ravaged by fire. This time around, the fire was on the Western side of the park, east of Otjovazandu, through farm Robyn.

The Chief Control Warden for Etosha National Park and Skeleton Coast Park, Rehabeam Erckie, said they were not sure where the fire originated from or what could have caused it.

According to Erckie, the fire engulfed one of the blocks around 17h00 on October 19 and was brought under control on October 20, around 13h00.

He could not tell the exact hectares damaged but said they found no animal losses after inspecting the area. “The area affected is around the Okavao Water hole but no animal was reported burnt, but I cannot guarantee,” Erckie said.

He said the area burnt could be less than 50 hectares as it is smaller than a normal block in the park, which is about 50 hectares.

Last month, approximately 300 000 hectares covering the area south and east of Halali Camp up to the Kalkheuwel Waterhole, were burnt by veld fire.

Wild animals worth at least N$18,6 million were lost in the fire that raged for four days in the national park.

Among the dead animals were 25 black rhinos, five white rhinos, 11 elephants, 60 giraffes, 30 kudu and three lions.

The cause of the fire was thought to be charcoal production on Farm Success. Other fires were also reported in the Namib Naukluft Park, early in October.

The fires were started by lightning and burnt parts of Ganab and Solitaire.

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