Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Amazon rainforest fire: Is the Amazon rainforest in Brazil on fire? | World | News


The Amazon rainforest has been hit with raging wildfires. According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) fires have hit a record number this year, with nearly 73,000 fires detected in 2019. This is a surge of 83 percent over the same period in 2018. And since Thursday, INPE satellites have captured more than 9,500 new forest fires as the raging infernos continue to grow.

The increasing numbers of fires this year have been blamed on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Mr Bolsonaro took office in January and supported developing the Amazon region for farming and mining.

This has proved controversial due to international concern over increased deforestation.

READ MORE: Amazon rainforest fire: How did the Amazon fire start?

The Brazilian President has also brushed off claims made by INPE.

The space agency said the large number of wildfires could not be attributed to the dry season or natural phenomena alone.

Researcher Alberto Setzer said: “There is nothing abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, which is just a little below average.

“The dry season creates the favourable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident.”

But Mr Bolsonaro said it was the time of the year of the “queimada” or burn, when farmers use fire to clear land.

He added: “I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame.”

“I am waiting for the next set of numbers, that will not be made up numbers.

“If they are alarming, I will take notice of them in front of you.”

As a result of the wildfires, the Brazilian state of Amazonas declared an emergency in the south of the state and in its capital Manaus.

Acre, on the border with Peru has also been on environmental alert since Friday.

On Monday, strong winds carried smoke from the Amazon fires more than 1,700 miles and caused a blackout in the city of Sao Paulo.

Wildfires have also increased in the states of Mato Grosso and Para.



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