Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

33,116 Fires Recorded In Brazilian Amazon This August

September 2, 2022

According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), there was an increase of 18% in fires reported since last August in the Amazon. The forest area is considered an important natural buffer against climate change. The INPE satellites recorded 33,116 fire incidents during the August dry season.

According to Mariana Napolitano, chief scientist at the World Wide Fund for Nature Brazil (WWF Brazil), deforestation and degradation of the forest have increased in the last four years.

“The Amazon is a humid tropical forest and, contrary to what happens in other biomes, fire is not part of its natural cycle. Therefore, fires do not arise naturally in the biome and their occurrence is always associated with human actions – especially deforestation and forest degradation,” she said in a statement.

According to WWF Brazil, from January to the end of August, more than 46,000 outbreaks were registered.

WWF-Brazil’s director of social and environmental justice, Ral Valle, blamed the administration of Jair Bolsonaro for the fires, describing the Brazilian president as “promoting an anti-environmental policy.”

“Throughout his administration, Bolsonaro repeated – in Brazil and abroad – that there are no fires in the Amazon at all, denying indisputable data. He weakened the mechanisms of command and control in the region and spread an atmosphere of allowance for crimes of destruction, supporting deforesters and illegal gold miners,” he said.

The degradation occurring in the Amazon was also raised during the presidential debate between the two leading candidates; left-wing and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the far-right Bolsonaro.

Lula accused Bolsonaro of destroying Brazil and pointed out that deforestation was minimal under his government.

Last month, Bolsonaro rebuked critics of the Amazon, saying he should save his own country’s forests because “the Amazon belongs to the Brazilian people and always will.”