33,116 fires for the month of August alone.

The Brazilian Amazon experienced its worst August since 2010, with an 18% increase in the number of forest fires compared to the same month last year, according to official figures released Thursday.

In August 2021, the satellites of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) had detected 28,060 homes.

August is usually the most critical month for forest fires, in the heart of the dry season.

No less than 3,358 households were identified for the single day of August 22, unheard of for a daily count since September 2007.

46,022 fires in the first eight months of the year

This is a figure three times higher than August 10, 2019, known as "fire day", when Brazilian farmers launched a vast burning operation in the northeast.

The smoke had spread to Sao Paulo (south), some 2,500 kilometers away, arousing strong international condemnation.

Over the first eight months of the year, the INPE detected a total of 46,022 outbreaks of fire, an increase of 16% compared to the period January-August 2021.

As for the month of August, the Amazon had never burned so much for 12 years (45,018 homes in 2010).

Since 2010, the four worst figures for this month of the year correspond to the four years of mandate of the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro (30,900 in 2019, 29,307 in 2020, 28,060 in 2021 and 33,116 in 2022), who is seeking a new mandate in October.

An increase in fires closely linked to that of deforestation?

“This unbridled increase in the number of fires over the past four years is closely linked to the increase in deforestation”, explains Mariana Napolitano, from the Brazilian branch of WWF.

“The Amazon rainforest is tropical and humid.

Fire is not part of its natural cycle.

Fires do not happen spontaneously, they are always linked to human actions,” she continues.

According to experts, these fires are notably caused by farmers who illegally clear the land by burning trees.

Deforestation is also at its highest in Brazil, with 3,988 km2 deforested in the first half of the year, a record since data began being compiled by INPE's Deter satellite monitoring system in 2016. 


In Brazil, less than 3% of deforestation alerts are processed by the authorities


Amazonia: Aerial observations allow us to learn more about an ancient and little-known civilization

  • Planet

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