A brief press release published on Twitter by Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) said the fire broke out in Whona, a pit stop for climbers using the Mandara and Horombo routes.
“Several teams including residents, students and local firefighters are currently trying to [out] fire. Tanapa will continue to take all precautions to ensure the safety of all visitors and their equipment, ”said Pascal Shelutete, Assistant Commissioner of Communications at Tanapa.
It is not yet known what caused the fire and if anyone took the affected road when it broke out. Shelutete has promised to issue a full statement as soon as more information becomes available.A photo posted on Tanapa’s Twitter account, taken from afar, showed a line of fire on the mountain slopes. Daniel Mjema, a journalist based in Moshi, a town on the slopes of the mountain, said he could see the fire from 7 p.m. Sunday.
“Although the fire started at the end of the climbing season, if it continues, it will affect tourism activities on Kilimanjaro as no climber would risk climbing,” Mjema said.
Kilimanjaro, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is 5,895 meters above sea level and is the tallest self-contained volcanic mountain in the world. Unesco said human activities, including increased use of land in surrounding areas and pollution of water and air, threatened the mountain ecology.
“Tourism poses a significant threat and careful planning of related infrastructure and development of access is needed,” Unesco said.
The mountain is located on the border between Kenya and Tanzania and both countries have benefited enormously from the tourist activities around it. Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, famous for its vast herds of elephants, draws its water from the mountains.