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Brazilian Amazon records largest fires in the last 12 years in August

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Brazil registered 33,116 fire alerts in August, the highest number for the month in the last 12 years, according to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

The number of hot spots measured by INPE satellites between August 1 and 31 was 16.7% higher than the same period last year and about 25.9% higher than the average recorded by the institute since 1998 (26,299 ).

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The alerts, likewise, were not so high for this month since 2010, when 45,018 forest fires were recorded in the Brazilian part of the largest tropical forest on the planet.

The alerts for August also exceed those of the same month in 2019 (30,900), when the images of the fires in the Amazon went around the world and generated strong international pressure against the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, a candidate for re-election.

The environmental organization Greenpeace, which flew over the Brazilian Amazon and has been monitoring forest fires for a decade, was surprised.

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“I had never seen such a large deforestation and not so much smoke either,” assured Rómulo Batista, spokesman for the NGO in the Amazon, quoted in a statement.

Environmentalists blame the devastation of the Amazon on the leader of the Brazilian extreme right, who has relaxed environmental controls and promoted the economic exploitation of the Amazon, as well as the end of the demarcation of new indigenous reserves.

The environmental issue has entered the agenda of the candidates ahead of the presidential elections on October 2, in which Bolsonaro and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the favorite to win the elections, will face each other.

Lula, who leads Bolsonaro by 12 percentage points, visited Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, the day before, and this Thursday he traveled to the Amazonian state of Pará.

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Source: Gestion

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