Rwanda: fire in Volcanoes but gorillas are safe

Tgorillahe wildfire which started at the weekend was said to have been  accidentally sparked by a honey farmer, who smoked his honey hive and could not properly put out the fire.

By the following 48 hours, the fire, which started at the foot of the Muhabura volcano, had burnt between 100 and 200 hectares (247 to 494 acres).

In the view of Rosette Chantal Rugambwa, the director of the Rwandan Office of Tourism and National Parks , the fire has not affected tourism in the region because the gorillas are far away from the area that was under threat.

Army helicopters helped to contain the fire, said Radio Rwanda. They were reported to have been crossing over to the Ugandan side of Mgahinga National Park to put out the fire.

The buffalos, antelopes, monkeys and other wild animals which were living close to the Mountain Muhabura, they quickly chose the only option of running to some safer places in the mountain.

While the fire is been wrestled to a halt, authority are urging the residents of the park to take extra care when lighting fires during the dry season.

Either during hunting for ‘bush meat’ as it’s commonly practice across Africa or in wildfires, African wild animals are generally in danger in the dry season of the year.

There are an estimated 700 surviving mountain gorillas in the world. And they all live in the national parks, spanning the borders between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They deserved to be protected.


Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

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