The Amazon had the second-worst August in recorded fires of the last decade. However, the situation in 2020 is probably worst than what the data shows, considering that, since the first weeks of the month, sensor failures were detected in the satellite that monitors the fire.
In August, there were 29,307 fires in the Amazon. Last year—the worst of the decade in terms of fire in the biome and in which the smoke from the fires even hovered over São Paulo—, there were 30,901 outbreaks.
However, the Modis sensor, from NASA's Aqua satellite, has been in trouble since the 16th of this month. As a result, some areas are without precise coverage of hot spots. Thus, some northernmost regions of the country, such as Amapá, Roraima, Rondônia, Acre, and northern Amazonas, are lagging.
On the 16th, for example, Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), responsible for monitoring, registered only 199 outbreaks in the Amazon, the lowest value observed in the month. As a comparison, the previous day, 1,439 fires had been registered, and, last year, there were 1,100 on the 16th of August.
The NGO Greenpeace observed data from two other satellites that monitor fires and did not detect a reduction in fires in the period around the 16th.
Even with the high number of fires in the month, General Hamilton Mourão, vice president and head of the Council of the Amazon, went to social networks to celebrate the supposed fall of 5% of the hot spots in relation to August of last year.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon