Firefighters try to contain fire on Mount Kilimanjaro

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The snow covered peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is seen from the Amboseli National Park.
The snow covered peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is seen from the Amboseli National Park.
Tony Karumba, AFP

Tanzanian firefighters were battling on Monday to contain a fire that broke out on Sunday on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, the National Parks service (Tanapa) said.

"The fire is still going on and firefighters from Tanapa, other government institutions and locals are continuing with the efforts to contain it," said Pascal Shelutete, a Tanapa official.

On Sunday, Tanapa tweeted a blurred photo of what it said was a fire burning on the mountain.

Kilimanjaro rises to nearly 6 000m above sea level. Around 50 000 tourists climb it every year.

The fire started at Whona area, a resting centre for tourists using Mandara and Horombo, two of several routes used to climb the mountain, Shelutete said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Crews involving locals, students and fire-fighting personnel were battling to put out the blaze, he said.

"Tanapa is continuing to take all precautions to maximise safety of visitors and their equipment," he added.

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