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KWS battles huge fire in Tsavo

Saturday May 30 2020
TSAVO

Elephants graze at the Tsavo East National Park. Fire has destroyed hectares of vegetation in the park. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LUCY MKANYIKA

A fierce wildfire has destroyed thousands of hectares in Tsavo National Park in Taita Taveta, threatening wildlife in the country's largest conservancy.  

The raging fire that started on Friday has consumed natural vegetation at the park which hosts thousands of wildlife.

The cause of the fire that started from Irima area is yet to be established.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers have been trying put it out but strong winds and dry vegetation are making it hard for them to contain the inferno.

The officers also lack the capacity to put out the fire which is spreading very fast.

A source within KWS said the government will deploy helicopters and trained firefighters on Saturday to respond to the situation before it gets out of hand.

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“Officers have been battling the inferno since Friday but it is spreading so fast," said the officer who did not wish to be named. 

Efforts to reach Tsavo Assistant Director Robert Njue were futile as he neither responded to our calls nor text messages.

Tsavo is home to various wildlife species, among them the big five.

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