Atypical, Fire in the Pantanal in November Alarms and Surrounds Residents Amid Drought

With over 3,000 incidents in just 15 days, the month sets a record for wildfires

São Paulo and Miranda (MS)

"The seasons are completely different. It's the rainy season. We can see that everything is changing; the climate has changed."

Elias Francisco Xavier, 69, summarizes the current situation of the Pantanal, going through its worst November of wildfires in history amid the absence of the typical 'rainy season.'

Miranda, MS, BRASIL, 16-11-2023: The Pantanal faces a new wave of fires. (Foto: Eduardo Knapp/Folhapress, COTIDIANO) - Folhapress

For decades, he has lived in the Pantanal, or at least in a Pantanal that he no longer sees so clearly.

"Let's see it from bad to worse, pay attention. This Pantanal is done for. If it continues like this, it's done, it's over."

Elias, who has lived in a shack on the edge of BR-262 in the Miranda region (MS) for 16 years, expresses concern. Besides being his residence, the place serves as his tire repair shop and small store.

There is a significant reason for concern, as the fire fronts driven by strong winds in the region are not far away.

The Pantanal has some adaptation to fire, but the situation in November is different. Since the beginning of this century, the record for wildfires in the biome for the month was in 2002, with 2,328 incidents. The current month, still halfway through, already totals 3,024.

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