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Fires in the Brazilian Amazon intensify in July – Science-Environment News – Report by AFR

The number of wildfires in the Brazilian Amazon rose eight percent last month compared to July 2021, according to official figures released Monday, the latest alarm bell for the world’s largest rainforest.

Satellite monitoring detected 5,373 fires last month, up from 4,977 in July last year, according to the Brazilian space agency INPE.

However, the number fell far short of the worst July ever: 19,364 fires in 2005.

July is usually the start of “fire season” in the Amazon, when drier weather fuels more fires – mostly from farmers and speculators clearing land for agriculture, experts say.

The rise of the Amazon came as major fires raged in California, France and Portugal as temperatures soared.

This has been a worrying year for fires in the Amazon, a key resource in the race to curb global warming: INPE has detected 12,906 so far, up 13 percent from the same period last year.

“Unfortunately, the number of criminal forest fires only explodes at the beginning of the Amazon dry season,” said Romulo Batista of Greenpeace Brazil.

“Apart from decimating the forest and its biodiversity, these fires and destruction also affect the health of local people through smoke inhalation,” he said in a statement.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who is up for re-election in October, faces scrutiny over his government’s controversial management of Brazil’s 60 percent stake in the Amazon, which has seen a spate of fires and deforestation under his oversight.

Since the far-right agribusiness ally took office in 2019, average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by 75 percent compared to the previous decade.

#Fires #Brazilian #Amazon #intensify #July

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