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Home / World / Amazon burns: Brazil's rainforest is burning at record rates, warns space agency

Amazon burns: Brazil's rainforest is burning at record rates, warns space agency



  Aerial view of a burning Amazon jungle area cleared by lumberjacks and farmers near the town of Novo Progresso, Para State.

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Reuters

Caption

said Inpe So far, more than 72,000 fires have been recorded this year

Brazil's Amazon rainforest has recorded a record number of fires over the same period in 201

8, according to new data from the country's space research agency this year.

It comes weeks after President Jair Bolsonaro heads the agency amid disputes over his deforestation data dismissed.

Smoke from the fires caused a power outage in the city of Sao Paulo on Monday.

The day protection, which lasted about an hour, occurred after strong winds of smoke from forest fires in the states of Amazonas and Brazil caused Rondonia, more than 2,700 km away.

Conservationists have accused Mr Bolsonaro of encouraging loggers and farmers to clear the land.

Why are there fires in the Amazon?

Inpe claimed to have detected more than 72,000 fires between January and August – the highest number since records began in 2013. Since Thursday, more than 9,500 forest fires have been recorded. especially in the Amazon.

The satellite images showed the northernmost state of Brazil, Roraima, covered in dark smoke while the neighboring Amazon region declared a fire emergency.

Forest fires often occur in Brazil in the dry season, but they are also used deliberately to illegally clear land for livestock.

Mr. Bolsonaro wiped the latest data and said it was the "Queimada Season" where farmers use fire to clear land. "I used to call myself Captain Chainsaw, now I'm Nero and I'm lighting the Amazon," quoted the news agency Retuers.

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Reuters

Caption

Mr Bolsonaro has been criticized for his environmental policies

However, Inpe noted that the number of fires did not match those normally reported during the dry season.

"There is nothing unusual about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon, which is only slightly below average," said Inpe researcher Alberto Setzer to Reuters.

"The dry season creates favorable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but the kindling of a fire is the work of man, intentionally or accidentally."

Ricardo Mello, head of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Amazon Program, said the fires were "a consequence of the increase in deforestation in the latest figures".

Bolsonaro "Degradation of deforestation"

The reports of an increase in forest fires met with criticism of Mr. Bolsonaro's environmental guidelines. Scientists say that since taking office in January, the Amazon has suffered rapid losses, with policies favoring development over protection.

As the world's largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon is a vital carbon reservoir that slows the pace of global warming.

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Over the past decade, previous governments have managed to reduce deforestation by taking action from federal agencies and a system of fines. But Mr. Bolsonaro and his ministers have criticized the punishments and observed a decline in confiscation of wood and environmental crime convictions.

Last month, extreme right-wing President Inpes told the director that he was lying about the extent of deforestation in the Amazon and trying to undermine the government. This happened after Inpe published data in June showing an 88% increase in deforestation compared to the same month last year.

The director of the agency later announced that he had been released in the meantime.

Inpe had previously insisted that his data is 95% correct. The reliability of the agency has also been defended by several scientific institutions, including the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.


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