Fire Has Already Consumed 26.5% of the Pantanal, Show Satellites

Burnings devastated an area slightly smaller than the state of Rio de Janeiro

Manaus and São Paulo

The fires that devastated the Pantanal have destroyed a quarter of the biome since the beginning of this year. The most critical point is the Serra do Amolar (MS), one of the most preserved regions of the largest floodplain in the world.

From January 1 to last Saturday (3), the fires swept the fauna and flora of 3,977,000 hectares, an area slightly smaller than that of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The destroyed size corresponds to 26.5% of the Pantanal, of 15 million hectares.

Santo Antonio Leverger, MT. 09/19/2020. ( Foto: Lalo de Almeida/ Folhapress )

Within a week, the flames covered 516 thousand hectares or a daily average of 73.7 thousand hectares. It is as if an area comparable to the municipality of Salvador burns every 24 hours.

The figures, published on Tuesdays, are from Lasa (Laboratory of Environmental Satellite Applications), from UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), and were passed on by Ibama.

Despite having the smallest part of the biome, Mato Grosso is the most affected state, with 2.16 million hectares. The Pantanal of Mato Grosso Sul lost 1.82 million, but it is where the fire is most advanced in recent days.

Until this Tuesday (6), the fire remained out of control in the Serra do Amolar. About 100 km north of Corumbá, it is one of the least anthropized areas in the Pantanal. The fires have already affected at least 102 thousand hectares in this region.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language