A fire believed to be triggered by illegal marijuana farmers is threatening tens of thousands of acres of bamboo forest on Mount Kenya.
It has already destroyed 80 square kilometers of moorland and is now threatening the native forests.
In East Africa are the largest natural bamboo forests in Africa. According to the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the proportion of bamboo cover known worldwide is about 3-4%.
The flame, which began six days ago, burns on two fronts and is spread by high temperatures and strong winds.
Kenya has limited resources to fight fires of this magnitude.
Fighting the Flame is in the hands of 125 people from the local community, forestry and wildlife services, and private conservation organizations who are grounded with basic fire strikes.
The fire, which is attributable to farmers who have planted an area to grow marijuana, is threatening one of the five highland areas known as the "water towers of Kenya" which supply the rivers and provide three-quarters of the country's fresh water.
A second front of the fire threatens 40,000 hectares of bamboo forest and its vital ecosystem.
Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa.
Photos of Bobby Neptune