Tanzania Deploys Helicopters, Planes To Fight Fire On Africa’s Tallest Mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro

As the fire raging on Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, enters its fifth day, the Tanzanian government have said more helicopters and planes will be deployed to help fight the blaze.

The deployment, which starts today, will hope to combat the fire, which officials in the East African country say firemen and volunteers are “struggling” to contain.

According to Tourism Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla, efforts to extinguish the flames have been hampered by the presence of strong winds and acres of shrubs and dry grass.

“The task is bigger and harder than we thought,” tweeted Mr Kigwangalla.

More than 500 volunteers, including students and residents, have been up fighting the blaze on Africa’s tallest mountain.

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Strong winds on Sunday helped fanned the fire, but the winds have since died down. So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported and no property has been damaged.

Although the cause of the fires is unknown, the National Parks Authority said there were indications that it could have been caused by people who were cooking at a resting area on the mountain.

Every year, some 50,000 tourists climb Kilimanjaro, which rises to 5,895 metres (nearly 20,000 feet) above sea level.

The fire started at the Whona area, a rest centre for climbers using Mandara and Horombo, two of the several routes up the mountain, Shelutete said in a statement posted on Twitter.

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TANAPA was taking all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of visitors and their equipment, Shelutete said.

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