A hallucinating ‘Roof of Africa’ fire that is ravaging large swathes of forests in northern Ethiopia, is causing an international stir.
Several countries are helping Ethiopia to battle the mountain fire including France, South Africa, Kenya and Isreal being the latest to join over the weekend.
The scary inferno in Ethiopia’s historic Semien National Park in the northern Amhara region has been blazing for months now in spite of spirited efforts to put it off.
The scene of the blaze is on a 220 sq-km (84 sq-miles) park in Ethiopia’s highlands, sometimes referred to as the “Roof of Africa” given that it forms the largest continuous area of elevation on the continent.
The park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The regional state president had alleged that the issue had gone beyond their control and urged federal intervention culminating in the ongoing efforts from foreign countries.
South Africa breezed in six firefighter planes followed by France and Kenya but still to no avail as the fires gained momentum on April 9 prompting a response from Israel.
Local media quoted ‘The Times’ newspaper of Israel as saying the country’s team “is being led by Zion Shenkar, who was born in Ethiopia and was the Israel Defense Force’s first-ever battalion commander from the Ethiopian community.”
Ethiopian government sources said the difficulties in containing the fires stems from the nature of gorges and the landscape of the area.
The BBC recalled that government could not attribute the causes of another fire that broke out in the park last month, destroying 340 hectares (840 acres) of forest and grass.
To date, no official statement has given of the loses caused by the ongoing inferno.
Reports say Kenya is also battling a similar case in the Mount Kenya area.