About 3,358 distinct fires started in the Brazilian Amazon on Monday. This was one of the largest numbers of simultaneous fires in the region in 15 years, according to the national space research institution INPE.
According to De Morgen, that is almost three times as many as on the most tragic day in August 2019, when pictures of the burning forests spread like wildfire.
Since 1998, the INPE has been monitoring the amount of wildfires in the biggest rainforest on Earth every day from orbit. Alberto Setzer, the head of INPE, told the French news agency AFP that “The flames are advancing farther and further north,” therefore, it doesn’t surprise him that this week saw the most fires since 2007.
On satellite photographs from last month, there were a total of 5,373 fires, which is an 8% rise from July of the previous year. With 24,124 fires so far, the Amazon is on track for “the worst August” in a generation. President Jair Bolsonaro consistently prioritized commercial interests above environmental protection while in office.
Deforestation and forest fires frequently go hand in hand. After farmers set fire to portions of the rainforest, a dense black smoke cloud was visible 2,500 kilometres distant in Sao Paulo on August 10, 2019. Outrage spread around the world.
According to Setzer, the several fires blazing this week are not intentionally set; rather, more illegal forestry activities are to blame.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported earlier this year that much more rainforest is being cleared for development. The environmental organization drew a parallel between the impending Brazilian presidential elections and the conflict in Ukraine, which has halted Russian supplies of different raw commodities. Brazil is attempting to profit from the deficit.