Kenya: Mt Kenya Forest Fires Put Out, KWS Says

Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service officers putting out a fire in Mount Kenya National Park on February 28, 2019.

All fires in the Mt Kenya forest have on Sunday been put out.

"Fires on Mt. Kenya off but we are holding our breath hoping for the best as they may restart at night," said Kenya Wildlife Service on their Twitter handle.

But KWS said they can only declare the fire completely off after two days "as per fire suppression protocol" especially if the area has smouldering logs.

After a week of destruction that saw many hectares of vegetation consumed, Mother Nature also came to the rescue with heavy rains putting out huge fire on Kirinyaga Castle Forest on the southern side of Mt Kenya National Park.

On Sunday also, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the Kenya Forest Service and members of the Community Forest Association had successfully battled fires at Ndaragwa and Kamiruri area.

BACKGROUND

The fires started on the Moorland near Lake Ellis in Tharaka-Nithi County a week ago.

They consumed more than 120,000 hectares of vegetation and killed wildlife as blazes propelled by strong winds spread to the neighbouring Embu, Kirinyaga, Meru, Laikipia and Nyeri counties.

To battle the huge wildfires, the government deployed teams from the Kenya Defence Forces, Environment and Forestry and Tourism and Wildlife ministries.

These teams were backed by units from the British Army Training Unit Kenya (Batuk), Tropic Air, Mt Kenya Trust, Kisima Farm, Lewa Conservancy, David Sheldrick Trust and Rhino Ark.

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