The highest free-standing mountain on earth is on fire—Mount Kilimanjaro (elevation 19,341above sea level) located in Tanzania. Africa's tallest peak consists of three dormant volcanic cones – Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira.
Wildfires have been increasing in number and intensity across the entire planet. This fire is especially cruel as wildlife may not flee in time as increased winds and drought have created a tinder box. The fire is within Mount Kilimanjaro National Park.
From the Nation:
Moshi. Mount Kilimanjaro, which is Africa’s highest peak at nearly 6,000 metres, is on fire.
The cause of the inferno which is believed to be occurring hundreds of metres above sea level is yet to be established.
Eyewitnesses say efforts by local communities to extinguish the wild fires are underway but this is hampered by the altitude of the blaze.
The flames could easily be seen from as far as Moshi town which is some tens of kilometers away from the mountain.
According to the Kilimanjaro National Park (Kinapa), the fire broke out late in the afternoon on Sunday October 11. This was later confirmed by the Tanzania National Parks Communications manager Patrick Shelutete, who said the agency would issue a detailed statement later.
“When fires happen on #Kilimanjaro, it's a national emergency, because a lot of communities, both in the villages and the cities, are dependent on #water from the mountain,” says Alex Kisingo of College of African #wildlife Management in #Mweka https://t.co/RcctwVopJC #Tanzania— LauraAngela Bagnetto (@LA_Bagnetto) October 12, 2020
The mountain receives a lot of scientific attention due to it’s rapidly melting glaciers.
Kizito Makoye of AA writes:
Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level, is highly susceptible to the worsening impacts of climate change and increasing human activities.
The mountain, which attracts about 50,000 tourists every year, has frequently braved fire incidents.
Wildfire and rampant illegal logging have encroached on the ecosystem around the park and disturbed a forest belt around the mountain area, local authorities said.
According to Wilbad Meena, a local resident, a single wildfire in the mountain is capable of destroying hundreds of hectares of woods as well as killing many endangered animal species.
“I honestly cannot correctly assess the scale of forest destruction but it is big, I could see a plume of smoke rising into the sky from as far as Moshi,” said Meena.