The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers are struggling to put out a raging fire in the Aberdare Forest, which has so far consumed over 70 hectares of bamboo.
The fire that started on Sunday morning is suspected to have been started by poachers with the intent of engaging in illegal activities.
“The fire was very fierce and started on early Sunday morning. We deployed 45 KWS officers to put it out at night and doubled the number by Monday morning,” said KWS Mt Kenya boss Bajila Kofa.
The Mt Kenya boss has said that they are working on a strategy to have the fire contained at 500-square meter stretch so that it does not consume the whole forest.
Mr Kofa said that an operation had been initiated to pursue the suspected poachers who could have started the inferno with stringent measures expected to be taken against them.
“We have identified tracks left behind by what we think were rhino poachers. We are on their pursuit since the motive of the fire is likely to pave way for the poaching activities,” sai Kofa.
The Aberdare forest has been a hot bed for poachers as it is a home of some of the most endangered species. Rhinos are said to be the most endangered with close to nine being killed in a year.
The fire is at Kinangop Peak, a short distance from Elephant Peak, the highest point of Aberdare Forest.