TANZANIA – Firefighters are beginning a fifth day Thursday trying to contain a forest fire in a conservation area on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak.
Tanzania’s minister of natural resources and tourism, Hamisi Kigwangalla, said Wednesday that the fire is threatening the alpine ecological zone, which is inhabited by various creatures including birds, snakes and lizards.
Kigwangalla said dry conditions, strong winds, and the location of the fire are hampering efforts to bring it under control.
The Citizen newspaper reports Kigwangalla said Wednesday that the government will buy helicopters to bolster efforts to fight wildfires.
He also directed the Tanzania National Park Agency to upgrade firefighting infrastructure.
Initial reports indicate the fire was caused by porters heating food for climbers on Sunday, but the probe into the blaze continues.