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Massive fire breaks out on Mount Kilimanjaro

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Fire broke out on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro on Sunday afternoon, causing fear and panic among people living on the eastern slopes of the Mountain, the highest peak in Africa.

Until Monday morning, the fire has been raging its course on the Mountain’s forest, with fire fighting squad from wildlife conservation institutions and the fire brigade working to contain it.

Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Communications Manager Mr. Pascal Shelutete said the cause of the fire outbreak was not known as authorities were working to put it off.

The fire started at a resting area for tourists called Whona, Shelutete said in a statement posted to Twitter.

He said in a message that TANAPA which is the custodian of the mountain would give more details on the outbreak.

Fire outbreaks on Mount Kilimanjaro were greatly reduced in past years through community participation on conservation of the mountain ecosystem, extending to cover both Tanzania and Kenya.

Mount Kilimanjaro fire outbreak could bring about adverse effects which are mostly environmental.

Lack of water and rain to local communities on the slopes and higher temperatures running to melting of the snow on the mountain peak are the most observed dangers from the fire outbreak, authorities in Kilimanjaro Region where the mountain is geographically located.

The mountain rises from farmland on the lower slopes to rainforest and alpine landscape at the peaks.

Mount Kilimanjaro ecosystem supports life to over two million (2 million) residents on its lower slopes in Tanzania and Kenya who depend directly the mountain’s resources, mostly water and rain for agriculture and livestock rearing.

Located at 330 kilometers from the Equator, the snow-caped Mount Kilimanjaro attracts between 55, 00 to 60,000 tourists per year, most of whom are climbers and scenery loving tourists.

The mountain is the leading tourist attraction in Tanzania followed by Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and other wildlife parks.

Kilimanjaro is one of the leading single and freestanding mountains in the world, and it composed of three independent peaks of Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The entire mountain area is  over 4,000 kilometers.

Formed some 750,000 years through volcanic eruptions, Mount Kilimanjaro took several geological changes for 250,000 years, and the present features were formed during the past 500,000 years after a number of upheavals and tremors, geological data show.