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Zim firefighters battle to extinguish fire in national park

The fire was started a week ago, apparently to distract park rangers and anti-poaching teams.

Zimbabwean flag. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

HARARE - A fire believed to have been started by poachers is raging in a park in northern Zimbabwe, which is part of a Unesco World Heritage site.

The fire was started a week ago, apparently to distract park rangers and anti-poaching teams.

Firefighters have been struggling to put out the blaze since Sunday night.

It’s estimated that a third of the 12,000-hectare Sapi Safari Area has been burnt so far.

The fire was lit in an area of thick, inaccessible bush. Concession manager David Hobbs told Eyewitness News that it appears to have been done deliberately.

Rangers and anti-poaching teams have been drawn into helping to fight the fire, and there is evidence that poachers have gone on to hunt animals elsewhere.

Sapi is part of the Unesco World Heritage site that includes the famous Mana Pools National Park, but a river separates the two and Mana Pools has not been affected.

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