Etosha National Park fire burns through 2,545 square kilometres
A veld fire that started on 6 October outside of Etosha National Park and later moved to the east of park, has been suppressed to a manageable level, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.said.
The Ministry of Environment spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda on Thursday said the fire burned in the park for ten days covering a total burnt area of 2,545 square kilometers.
“Initially, the ministry took a decision to allow the fire to burn after it entered the park on 10 October. On 15 October, the ministry took a decision to suppress the fire so that it did not burn any further of which it was ultimately brought under control without any wildlife losses, damages to equipment or park infrastructure,” he said.
However, he said some powerline service poles were burnt in the process and are currently been replaced.
“We wish to assure the public that the fire was not in any way destructive even though it may have appeared as such from the pictures and videos that are circulating,” he said, adding that the fire will stimulate the regrowth of grass as the rainy season approaches.
According to Muyunda, fire management approaches have been introduced into Namibia’s protected areas particularly Etosha National Park, and the parks in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions, under the premise that fire can be used as an appropriate management tool to actively maintain and rehabilitate all terrestrial habitats within the parks.