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Brazil: Number of Fires in September Breaks 20-Year Record

09/29/2017 - 10h29

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THIAGO AMÂNCIO
FROM SÃO PAULO

A fire, contained only on Sunday (24), destroyed 1,200 hectares of Atlantic forest in the Serra da Bocaina mountain range, on the border of the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Chapada dos Guimarães, in Mato Grosso state, lost 4,300 hectares between August and September. The flames destroyed 35,000 hectares in Ilha Grande Park (border of Paraná and Mato Grande do Sul). Araguaia National Park, in the State of Tocantins, was also affected by fires.

This year had a record-breaking number of fires. In the first 27 days of September alone, the monitoring system of Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) identified 105,000 outbreak reports, a record since the institute started monitoring fires, in 1998.

In September 2016, 44,000 fires were recorded. The month's average is 55,000.

The total from January to September is also the highest since official records began, 195,000, 51% higher than in 2016.

Experts heard by Folha are unanimous: "This time of year, nearly 100% of fires are caused by human action," says Gabriel Zacharias, Coordinator of Prevfogo, Ibama's body for fire fighting and prevention.

And why is it worse this year? A researcher at the Center for Advanced Amazonian Studies of UFPA, Cláudia Ramos, says "there is a historical trend that, whenever there is an economic crisis and the government runs out of funds, operations and control actions are affected."

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

Read the article in the original language

Prefeitura Municipal de Bananal
A fire destroyed 1,200 hectares of Atlantic forest in the Serra da Bocaina mountain range, on the border of the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
A fire destroyed 1,200 hectares of Atlantic forest in the Serra da Bocaina mountain range, on the border of the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

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