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The Amazon on fire: Forest fires in Brazil increased 82 percent compared to the same period last year

Forest fires have reached a record 72,843 in Brazil this year, according to Brazil’s space research center INPE, at a time when fires are active in various locations in the Amazon rainforest and concern swirling about the environmental policy of the right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s space research center said that since Thursday satellite images detected 9,507 new forest fires, mainly in the Amazon basin, home to the world’s largest tropical forest, vital to counter the global warming.

The increase reaches 83% compared to the same period of 2018, the agency said on Tuesday, and the total is the largest since registrations began in 2013.

INPE said that since Thursday satellite images detected 9,507 new forest fires, mainly in the Amazon basin, home to the world’s largest tropical forest and considered vital to counter global warming.

The images show the northern state of Roraima covered in dark smoke. Amazonas declared on 9 August an emergency in the south and in its capital, Manaus. Acre, on the border with Peru, has been on an environmental alarm since Friday over the fires.

Wildfires have increased in Mato Grosso and ParĂ¡, two agricultural states that have pushed agriculture into the Amazon basin and where deforestation has been stimulated.

“They used to call me Captain Chainsaw and now I’m Nero burning down the Amazon. But if it’s the fire season,” Bolsonaro told reporters when asked about the rise of the fires.

Wildfires are common in the dry season, but they are also deliberately caused by farmers illegally burning land to engage in livestock rearing.

“They used to call me Captain Chainsaw and now I’m Nero burning down the Amazon. But if it’s the fire season,” he told reporters when asked about the rise of the fires.

The space agency INPE said a large number of wildfires cannot be attributed to the dry season or only to natural phenomena.

“There is nothing abnormal in the weather this year or the rains in the Amazon region, which are a little below average,” said INPE researcher Alberto Setzer.

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