Published On: Fri, Aug 23rd, 2019

Amazon rainforest fire: Who is fighting the Amazon Rainforest fire? | World | News

The Amazon rainforest fires have burned across the country for more than three weeks. The shocking wildfires have been spreading across Brazil’s Amazon rainforest with more than 2,500 fires burning in 48 hours from Tuesday. The raging infernos are showing no sign of stopping any time soon. But who is fighting the Amazon rainforest fire?

Wildfires in the Amazon rainforest have reached record rates this year, with more than 75,000 fires detected so far this year, compared to around 40,000 for the same period last year according to Brazil’s space research agency.

The satellite data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) showed an increase of 85 percent in fires in Brazil, more than half of which have burned in the Amazon region.

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the work and is a vital carbon store which helps slow the pace of global warming.

The Amazon forest produces about 20 percent of the world’s oxygen and is known as “the planet’s lungs”.

Environmental bodies say humans are responsible for the for the majority of the fires.

INPE researcher Alberto Setzer said 99 percent of the fires result from human actions “either on purpose or by accident”.

Wildfires are common during the dry season, but they are also set deliberately by farmers wishing to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching.

Scientists said the Amazon has suffered losses at an accelerated rate since the president took office in January.

Farmers and loggers are said to have felt encouraged by President Bolsonaro’s government which is keen to open up the region to economic activity.

According to local newspapers, farmers in some regions even organise “fire days” to take advantage of weaker law enforcement.

President Bolsonaro has said his government lacks the resources to fight wildfires in the Amazon.

On Thursday, he told reporters Brazil was in “chaos” and that his government could only send “40 men” to fight the prolific fires.

He said: “The Ministry of Justice can send 40 men to combat the fight, but do you understand that? Forty men. There are not enough resources. We are in chaos.”

The Amazon basin encompasses 72.7 million square miles, of which 2.1 million square miles are covered by the rainforest.

Earlier this week, it was reported President Bolsonaro blamed environmental groups for starting the fires.

However, he yesterday said he was merely airing his suspicions when he said that previously.

READ MORE: How big is raging fire right now?

The Brazilian president had made the claims without citing any evidence, saying the non government organisations were igniting fires in order to make him and his government look bad.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, he said: “Maybe – I am not affirming it – these [NGO people] are carrying out some criminal actions to draw attention against me, against the government of Brazil.

“This is the war we are facing.”

He told reporters: “For God’s sake – there is not proof of that [NGOs starting the fires], nobody writes ‘I will set fire to that’. It does not exist.

“If you don’t catch someone red-handed while setting the fire then look for those responsible for ordering it – it’s a crime.”

Mr Bolsonaro said: “Do you want me to blame the indigenous? Do you want me to blame the Martians? In my understanding there is a strong suspicion that the people from the NGOs lost the teat.”

When asked whether farmers could be starting the fires, the president said: “Yes, it could be the farmers, everybody is a suspect but the biggest suspects come from the NGOs.”

He added: “I have not accused the NGOs. I said suspect.”

READ MORE: Amazon fires satellite images REVEAL Amazon wildfires burning at record rate

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