Tanzanian emergency services reported on Thursday, October 15, that helicopters have been deployed to assist firefighters and army personnel who are trying to contain a large wildfire on Mt Kilimanjaro. The Minister for Natural Resources said on Thursday that the government is liaising with the government and external stakeholders with hopes to add further firefighting aircraft over the coming days. The fire began on Sunday, October 11, at a rest area for climbers in the Whona area and is believed to have been inadvertently started when a cooking fire ignited an area of bush.
No evacuations or casualties have been reported although authorities remain concerned that there may be a potential disruption to the local water supply as residents in communities at the base of Kilimanjaro are dependent on water from the mountain.
Further spread of the fire is possible in the near term. An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas.
Those in the vicinity of the fire are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the area, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities, including evacuation orders.
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