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As the Amazon fire rages, members of this indigenous community are pushing for their world to change



For this small group of firefighters, there are no epic freighters with tons of water or helicopter drops. Only shovels, sweat, a kind of turbo leaf blower to burn out the fire and long, bumpy, tormenting rides in aging jeeps and off-road vehicles over dust and ashes.

The challenge is equal to the global missions. Much of the Amazon is covered, but parts of it – such as the Campos Amazonicos National Park – are also savannahs, where fires of strong winds are fueled. Self-confident and all-consuming fire runs over wide grazing areas.

The tiny group of a few dozen firefighters – in a two-storey house, three hours' drive from the nearest village ̵

1; covers a vast area over which the green has turned to ash at an alarming rate over the past four days.

The firefighters have helpful but anxious neighbors, the Tenharim Aborigines. The Tenharim have called this area "mother" for centuries, but fear that the raging inferno this year and the rampant deforestation of the Amazon may soon leave orphans.

It is the land with which they live and identify. But Marcio Tenharim, the president of their association, looks at the flames, which have fought exhaustively. He knows that his delicate world is changing. "The next generation will have a darker future," he said. "Since this president came to power, these things are happening much more often."

This refers to President Jair Bolsonaro, who is criticized worldwide for his exploitative attitude towards the Amazon and his mixed reaction to the fires that raged through him this year. The Tenharim say the fires in their area – 900,000 hectares, claiming their thousands are legally owned – have increased annually. There were 93 last year, they said, a third more than the year before. They just do not know how hard they hit this year.

Tenharim's headdress shines in the orange inferno as he looks resignedly and blankly into the flames wall. "It's sad to see what we got," he said.

"Four days of fire on preserved land, where you could breathe fresh, clean air, and now we breathe in smoke."

  Marcio Tenharim, President of the Association of the Tenharim People's Association

The Tenharim control ten men in layers Fire brigade at 23. In the center of their world is a collection of huts, in which often modern and unusually loud pop music resounds. This place is not connected to the busy business people in Brazil's capitals who would like to invest in the forest. But the outside world has long wanted a piece of their paradise.

Their land is halved by Highway 230, the Trans-Amazonian, built in 1972 by the military.

Then they brought illnesses, they said, and provoked vehement protest. Now it's whirling with dust and huge trucks stream past cattle and discarded logs. The highway is flanked by signs of how quickly the outside world frees the Amazon from its riches. Deforestation is supposed to help cultivate soybeans, feed China and create grazing areas for cattle. According to the Brazilian National Institute, the worldwide appetite for beef is increasing the speed of destruction by one and a half soccer fields per minute of space exploration.

A lasting question is how the fires arise. Most police officers, officials, investigators, and firefighters with whom CNN talked for over a week agreed that a large number of people who were seeking to clear land and then exploit it were set up. President Bolsonaro has suggested that part of the increase in fires in Brazil could be 85% natural this year, though some experts have challenged this idea, claiming that many were caused by human hands.

However, natural fires are more common in shallow and dry savannas Occasionally, sometimes due to lightning, said Daniel Botini-Alves, a researcher for tropical savannah forest fires at Sao Paulo State University.

"Fires in native forests are mostly caused by humans and are the largest fires there." , "For five or six months we have seen more deforestation and fires are a consequence of it." He added that more fires could occur later in the year when the dry season ends, when fires are set to clear the pasture and grow again in the rainy season.

But Marcio Tenharim keeps hope, because without it there is only ashes. When asked about his children's chances, he said, "Probably they will have time, and this is not the end, it will not be like it used to be."


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