Deforestation in Brazil: more than 3,000 fires ravage the Amazon, a record for 15 years

A new sign of the destruction caused in the largest rainforest in the world. The number of fires in the Amazon in Brazil reached its highest level in nearly 15 years on Monday, August 22, according to official figures. Experts attribute these fires to the action of farmers, ranchers and speculators, who illegally clear land by burning trees.

Satellite images detected 3,358 fires on Monday, the highest number in one day since September 2007, an official from the National Institute for Space Studies (INPE) confirmed to AFP on Thursday August 25. This figure is three times higher than on August 10, 2019, says “fire day”, when Brazilian farmers launched a massive slash-and-burn operation in the northeast of the country, which had spread to Sao Paulo, some 2,500 kilometers away, drawing international condemnation.

Deforestation on the rise

According to Alberto Setzer, head of INPE’s fire monitoring program, there is no evidence that Monday’s fires are coordinated. Rather, they are part of a general pattern of increasing deforestation.

“Regions with the most fires are moving further and further north,” by following a “growing arc of deforestation”, said Alberto Setzer to AFP. The fire season in the Amazon usually begins in August, with the onset of drought.

Jair Bolsonaro is criticized for his support for the destruction of the Amazon, for the benefit of agriculture. Since he came to power in January 2019, the average annual deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon has increased by 75% compared to the previous decade.

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