Fire Razes Down 16,000 Acres of Mt Kenya Forest

  • Fire burning part of Mt Kenya Forest as firefighters try to extinguish it on Wednesday March 23, 2022
    Fire burning part of Mt Kenya Forest as firefighters try to extinguish it on Wednesday, March 23, 2022
    Mount Kenya Trust
  • Conservationists have raised an alarm over a raging fire that broke out on Saturday, March 19, and has so far destroyed over 16,000 acres in the Marania part of Mt Kenya Forest.

    The fire has gutted a huge chunk of the Moorland despite the government deploying various agencies to put it out.

    According to the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Meru Ecosystem Conservator, John Njoroge, the inferno has been spreading fast due to hot weather and strong winds in the area.

    Njoroge noted that firefighters drawn from the Kenya Forest Services (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), Rhino Ark, Mt Kenya Trust and the community are helping with the putting out of the inferno.

    Fire burning part of Mt Kenya Forest as firefighters try to extinguish it
    Fire burning part of Mt Kenya Forest as firefighters try to extinguish it
    NMG

    Despite the concerted efforts, the firefighters have registered minimal success.

    On Wednesday, March 24, the fire had destroyed over 6,500 acres of the forest but kept raging on.

    The cause of the fire is still unknown even as the authorities point accusing fingers at honey harvesters.

    "We suspect the fire was started by arsonists or honey harvesters. The fire has been unmanageable due to the strong winds. Currently, the fire line is about 15 kilometers long,” added Njoroge.

    The efforts by the firefighters have also been hampered by the rugged terrain which has made it impossible for water boozers to access the area.

    Mt Kenya Trust has been on the forefront in fighting the fire and states that the fire reignited hours after being successfully put out.

    “The situation is out of control. The firefighters are overwhelmed because we have been handling fires in Mt Kenya and Aberdares in the last 10 days. It is an emergency,” stated Mt Kenya Trust in a statement.

    The Trust suspected that some criminals were deliberately lighting up the fires.

    The severity of the wild fires have had adverse effects on the natural ecosystem, killing hundreds of wildlife in the process of gutting down the vegetation.

    Mt Kenya, which is the second highest mountain in Africa, is a heritage site and contains different types of wildlife made up of lakes, glaciers, dense forest, mineral springs and rare animals.

    The fires have had some ecological effects like increased erosion and water runoffs.

    Fire burning part of Mt Kenya Forest as firefighters try to extinguish it on Wednesday March 23, 2022
    Fire burning part of Mt Kenya Forest as firefighters try to extinguish it on Wednesday, March 23, 2022
    Mount Kenya Trust
    criminal arson fire suspect fight