Thu, 02 Aug 2012 12:24 CDT
Namibia, Southern Africa - Outjo is struggling to extinguish a 'mysterious' heap of ash which has been smouldering for at least three months.
The town's residents and the Outjo Town Council are baffled by the strange fire, which the local fire brigade has not been able to put out.
The Outjo town clerk, Joseph /Urib, warned people to stay away from the ash, which has caused burns to seven children, two donkeys and four goats.
Since the ash is grey and resembles gravel, the children went to play on it and burned their feet.
"We have been observing the gravel sand looking heap for the past three months, but have not taken it seriously until children and animals got burned. We thought that it was the remains of a fire that would eventually burn out," /Urib said yesterday.
The Outjo municipality has asked the Ministry of Mines and Energy to investigate the mysterious heap, which is three to six metres wide.
Outjo firefighter Sakarias !Aebeb said the fire department tried to put out the fire but failed, as the ash kept smouldering.
Some say the heat produced by the heap is so strong that it can be felt from a distance.
The municipality has put up notices around the town warning people to stay away from the heap. Churches and schools have been notified and announcements are being broadcast by NBC radio.