Over 6,500 acres of moorland in the Marania area of the Mount Kenya forest has been razed down by a raging inferno.
The fire that is reported to have broken out during the weekend has spread so fast because of the current hot weather and strong winds.
The inferno is spreading fast despite the spirited efforts by a team from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Rhino Ark, Kenya Defence Forces, Mount Kenya Trust and the surrounding community to control it.
Mount Kenya Trust has confirmed over 400 firefighters have been deployed to the emergency.
KFS Meru Ecosystem Conservator John Njoroge said they suspect may have been caused by arsonists or honey harvesters.
According to Njoroge, the fire line is 15 kilometres long and is spreading fast because of the strong winds.
“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 kilometres long,” Njoroge said.
Susie Weeks, the Mt. Kenya Trust CEO, said the fire spread faster and to a large area because of the moorland.
Weeks said the firefighters are getting overwhelmed because they have been trying to control the fires in Mt. Kenya and Aberdare for the past 10 days.
“The situation is out of control. The firefighters are overwhelmed because we have been handling fires in Mt Kenya and Aberdare in the past 10 days,” Weeks said.
Weeks also reiterated Njoroge’s assertions that some criminals may have intentionally made the fire.
#MountKenyaOnFire Update: An aerial recce of the #wildfires in #MtKenya.— Rhino Ark (@RhinoArk) March 20, 2022
Via: @mountkenyatrust#MtKenyaFire #MtKenya #forestfire #BushFire #mtkenya #mountkenya #fire #wildlfires pic.twitter.com/aHekPOeixF