Amazon rainforest fires in July increased by 28% as compared to last year: Report

Environmentalists expressed concern at the rise because August traditionally marks the beginning of the fire season in the region.

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Fires in the Brazilian Amazon increased 28% in July from a year ago, a state agency reported Saturday.The National Institute for Space Research, which is responsible for monitoring Brazil, said it recorded 6,803 fires in the Amazon rainforest last month, compared to 5,318 in the same month of 2019.

Environmentalists expressed concern at the rise because August traditionally marks the beginning of the fire season in the region. They fear Brazil could repeat the surge seen in fires last August, when 30,900 fires were recorded by the institute.The sharp increase in fires comes amid domestic and international concern over President Jair Bolsonaro’s calls to clear land in Brazil’s Amazon to drive economic development.

Addressing those concerns, on July 16, the government banned burning in the Pantanal wetlands and the Amazon forest for four months. Bolsonaro also issued an order in May for the military to coordinate environmental actions in the Amazon.

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