Bleak Milestone: 500 Major Fires Detected In Brazilian Amazon This Year

“The number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon has risen dramatically in recent weeks and now achieved a bleak milestone: more than 500 major, largely illegal, fires have been detected in the region since the end of May.

A total of 516 fires covering 376,416 hectares (912,863 acres) — an area nearly 5 times the land area of New York City — were detected between May 28 and August 25. Over half of these fires occurred in just the past two weeks, according to satellite data analysis by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP).

2019’s Amazon fires burned primarily in newly cleared land, not in intact forests, and largely followed a pattern of intentional, often illegal, deforestation to make way for cattle and crops. This year, the pattern is similar, with 83% of fires burning in recently deforested areas.”

Liz Kimbrough reports for Mongabay August 26, 2020.