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Wildfire on Kilimanjaro under control, Tanzania says

A wildfire burning since the start of the week on Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, has been placed under control, Tanzania said on Friday.

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct 16 (Reuters) - A wildfire burning since the start of the week on Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, has been placed under control, Tanzania said on Friday.

"An air inspection that was carried out this morning shows that the whole fire has been controlled," a statement from Tanzania National Park Service (TANAPA) said. "This fire has been controlled after the ongoing hard work since the fire erupted."

The blaze erupted on Sunday in the Whona area, a rest centre for climbers.

Hundreds of firefighters including residents and students have been battling to extinguish it. On Thursday the authorities announced they had deployed a helicopter to help fight the fire.

The dormant volcano rises to almost 6,000 metres (20,000 feet) above sea level and attracts about 50,000 climbers a year.

The statement said 95 square km (35 square miles), equivalent to 5% of the Kilimanjaro National Park area, had been affected by the fire, but tourism activities were continuing normally.

(Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Peter Graff)

((Email:elias.biryabarema@thomsonreuters.com; Tel. +254 20 499 1232; Reuters Messaging: elias.biryabarema.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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