Number of forest fires in Brazilian Amazon hit 15-year high this week, 3,358 fires detected in one day

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Last Updated on 3 months by Mukesh

Official statistics that delivered the most recent warning on the accelerating destruction of the largest rainforest in the world revealed this week that the number of forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon reached a nearly 15-year high. 

As per the Brazilian space agency, INPE, 3,358 flames were discovered on Monday, August 22, the most for any 24-hour period since September 2007. 

The number was almost three times higher than what was reported on the so-called “Day of Fire” on August 10, 2019, when farmers in the northern state of Para initiated a concerted effort to burn vast quantities of felled rainforest.

Then, flames caused a global outcry over images of one of the most important resources on Earth burning by sending thick, grey smoke 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) to Sao Paulo. 

As per Alberto Setzer, director of INPE’s fire surveillance programme, there is no evidence that the fires on Monday were planned. Instead, he said, they seem to follow a trend of escalating burning and deforestation. 

As per experts, illicit farmers, ranchers, and investors destroy the land and burn trees to start fires in the Amazon.

With the arrival of drier weather in August, the Amazon fire season often begins in earnest. 

For the forest, a crucial barrier against global warming, this year has been concerning thus far: INPE identified 5,373 fires last month, up 8% from July of last year. 

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With 24,124 fires reported so far this month, it is on track to be the worst August under President Jair Bolsonaro, albeit that number is still significantly below the 63,764 fires reported in August 2005, the worst August on record going back to the start of records in 1998.

Agribusiness ally Bolsonaro is under fire internationally for a rise of Amazon devastation that occurred under his administration. The average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has surged by 75% since he assumed office in January 2019 compared to the preceding ten years. 

That critique is rejected by the far-right president.

(with inputs from agencies)

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