Another Fire Breaks Out on Mount Kilimanjaro

Huge billows of smoke filled the sky above Mount Kilimanjaro this weekend from a wildfire that burned for over 24 hours.

Tanzanian authorities said Sunday that they had the blaze under control after it started on October 21. It’s unclear what ignited the fire. Authorities said it started on the mountain’s south side at 4,000m near the Karanga site, which climbers use.

“The situation is generally under control and we believe it will [be] completely tackled [in time],” said Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Pindi Chana.

Videos published on social media this weekend showed visible flames across a large portion of the mountain’s profile. Smoke engulfed parts of the mountain’s forests, and hundreds of emergency workers flocked to help, the BBC reported.

A massive response to the fire included park officials, volunteers, and even the Tanzanian army. There were no casualties.

Mountain official Nurdin Babu told reporters that “everything is under control… we have managed to control the fire.”

A local tour operator that helped with the efforts to extinguish the fire, Abraham Moshi, said that the blaze didn’t spread to campsites on the mountain. This reduced the risk of casualties.

Africa’s tallest mountain has seen an uptick in fires in recent years. In 2020, a week-long wildfire destroyed thousands of hectares of forest on Kilimanjaro’s coveted slopes. Several climbers had to be evacuated.

At 5,895m high, Mount Kilimanjaro attracts thousands of tourists and climbers every year.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.