4,000 New Fires Reported In Amazon Despite Recent Government Ban

Mirror
3 September 2019, Tue
Published: 05:38

4,000 New Fires Reported In Amazon Despite Recent Government Ban

Last month wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest hit a record high, with the burning so vast that it could be seen from space.

The surge marks an 83% increase over the same period of 2018, and is the highest since records began in 2013.


Last week, the Brazilian government decided to enforce a 60-day ban on starting new forest fires, in the hopes of reducing the damage.

However, new satellite data suggests that many people have ignored the ban.

Data from Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) has revealed that 3,859 new fires were recorded in Brazil in the 48 hours after the ban.

Worryingly, around 2,000 of these fires were in the Amazon rainforest.

The majority of wildfires are the result of human carelessness.

The Amazon has seen a record number of fires this year, with the country's space agency reporting an 83% increase over the same period last year.

According to the INPE, the large number of wildfires cannot be attributed to the dry season or natural phenomena alone.

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

"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.”

The fire ban was announced last week, and was signed by President Jair Bolsonaro , who has been heavily criticised for failing to protect the rainforest.

Setting fires to clear land is prohibited for the next 60 days, however there are three exceptions to the ban - fires related to plant health, those used as a preventative measure to fight wildfires, and as part of traditional practices by indigenous tribes.

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