Disasters & Accidents

Fires rage in central Brazilian Amazon

São Paulo, Brazil, Sept 7 (EFE).- The number of fires in the central region of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest surged during the first week of September, a period of drought and high temperatures.

Brazilian authorities have counted 2,597 fires in the state of Amazonas, which is a third of the total recorded for the entire month of September in 2022 for the same region.

September is the driest and most fire-prone season in Amazonas, Brazil’s largest state and home to the greatest area of preserved rainforest in the country.

However, this year has been “a really atypical year” in terms of fires, the secretary of the environment of the municipality of Manaquiri, Evanaldo Nascimento dos Santos, told EFE on Thursday.

The Am-354 highway, southwest of the regional capital Manaus, is engulfed in smoke and fires are breaking out in many parts of the jungle, as seen by an EFE photographer.

The largest fire affects an environmental and indigenous reserve in the locality of Nova Canaã, and “has been burning for 20 days,” Dos Santos said.

This reserve is difficult to access because river levels are too low to access the area by boat, the most common means of transportation.

Dos Santos said the community lacks the resources to fight the fires and has requested help from Amazonas state authorities and the federal government, but has received no response.

Since the beginning of the year, 38,542 fires have been recorded in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, according to the National Institute for Space Research.

This number represents a 40 % decrease from last year, and is the best number since 2018, that’s why this week’s upsurge is so significant.

Several environmental groups have attributed the improvement to the strengthening of environmental monitoring bodies promoted by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva since he returned to power on January 1 last year.EFE



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