Tsavo Engulfed in Flames Again [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

  • Fire razing down Tsavo West National Park on August 9, 2020.
    Fire razing down Tsavo West National Park on August 9, 2020.
  • UPDATE: The fire that razed down a huge section of Tsavo West National Park was finally put out on Monday August 10.

    In a press release, the Kenya Wildlide Services (KWS) expressed their gratitude local personnel and various partners for their help in combating the inferno.

    "This morning the team successfully fought the fire at Murka area in Tsavo West National Park," the press statement reads in part.

    Both aerial and ground teams were mobilized, with graders, water bowsers and fire engines at the site to augment the fight to extinguish the fire.

    Rangers combating the fire that broke out in the Tsavo West National Park on August 9, 2020.
    Rangers combating the fire that broke out in the Tsavo West National Park on August 9, 2020.

    Acres of vegetation were destroyed by fire at Kenya's Tsavo West National Park in the wee hours of Sunday morning, August 9, posing a threat to iconic wildlife species like elephants, rhinos and giraffes.

    The cause of the fire is yet to be established, with the latest tragedy marking the fourth time disaster has struck the vast park 

    Motorist plying along the Maktau-Taveta Road were urged to exercise caution as the smoke had resulted in poor visibility for long stretches on the road.

    Producer of Wildlife Warriors and CEO at  Wildlife Direct Dr Paula Kahumbu, has since appealed to Kenyans to rally together to help in mobilising resources to combat the fire.

    "Bush fires are raging across Tsavo West - Ksh20M needed for firefighting equipment, Ksh6M for fuel and mobilising people. Please help," she tweeted.

    She further urged the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to look into the latest fire, stating that it was most likely a case of arson.

    "Catastrophic fires in Tsavo West again and people are being called to assist. Since these raging fires are caused by arson I call on you (DCI) to work with Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to arrest the culprits now! This is akin to blowing up the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)," reads an excerpt of her statement.

    Tsavo West park covers an estimated 9,065 square kilometres. 

    It is a more popular destination on account of its magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing potential and guided walks along the Tsavo River.

    On July 23, three sets of fire were reported in the Tsavo Conservation Area; the first one in the Taita ranches adjacent to Tsavo East National Park, the second one in the Southern Part of Tsavo West National park and the third one in Kikunduku part of Chyulu National Park.

    In May and June 2020, over 4,000 acres of vegetation were also consumed by fire inside the wildlife sanctuary.

    The Tsavo Conservation area consists of the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke folllowing the fires in late July 2020, John Kabue, a research scientist working in the Tsavo landscape explained that the magnitude of the fire would have disastrous effects on the ecology of the area as the next rains would be expected in October 2020.

    KWS has since cautioned the public against setting fires close to national parks and reserves as in most cases the fires end up affecting wildlife and habitats.

    The conservation body also revealed that a Ksh200,000 fine would be placed on those found lighting fires around national parks.

    Watch footage of the latest Tsavo fire below: