British Army personnel try fight Kenya fire 260321 CREDIT British Army Twitter.jpg
Army

British troops fighting fire in Kenya

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

British Army personnel try fight Kenya fire 260321 CREDIT British Army Twitter.jpg

British Army troops and several aircraft are fighting a fire in Kenya.

The British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) said 350 UK and Kenyan troops had been deployed to stop the fire in Loldaiga.

BATUK tweeted on Thursday morning that a fire had broken out on the training area at Loldaiga, adding "we are currently doing everything we can to contain the fire".

On Friday, the British High Commission in Kenya said: "Investigations are ongoing into the fire during a UK-led exercise.

"Our priority is to urgently assist the local community – we are putting all resources into containing the fire and working closely with the Kenyan authorities to manage the situation."

Three helicopters, a crop-sprayer aircraft and four water tanker trucks are also assisting. 

The exercise has been paused with all personnel now working to fight the blaze.

British troops are fighting a fire in Kenya 260321 CREDIT British Army twitter.jpg
The British Army is "pouring all its resources" into fighting the fire, according to the MOD (Picture: British Army/Twitter).

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said it is "urgently" looking into reports claiming elephants have died in the fire, adding the British Army is "pouring all its resources" into fighting the flames.

An MOD spokesperson said: "The welfare of the local community and its wildlife is of the utmost concern to the UK.

"Reports of dead elephants are being looked into as a matter of urgency by the British Army, Kenyan Authorities and our Loldaiga Conservancy partners. 

"We are continuing to put all our resources into containing the fire and working closely with the Kenyan authorities to manage the situation."

According to the Army's website, BATUK is a permanent training support unit based mainly in Nanyuki, 200km north of the capital Nairobi.

It provides demanding training to exercising units preparing to deploy on operations or assume high-readiness tasks.

Around 100 permanent staff are based at BATUK, with a short tour cohort of another 280 personnel.

Under an agreement with the Kenyan government, up to six infantry battalions per year carry out eight-week exercises in Kenya, the Army's website states.

There are also Royal Engineer exercises, which carry out civil engineering projects, and medical deployments, which provide primary health care assistance to the civilian community.

Cover image: British troop fight the fire (Picture: British Army/Twitter).