Since 2019, the relaxation of environmental controls carried out by the Bolsonaro administration has facilitated the proliferation of forest fires.
The Brazilian Amazon recorded 7,533 fire outbreaks during the first half of the year, an increase of 17.9 percent compared to the same period in 2021.
The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) registered 2,562 sources of heat in the jungle in June. This figure represented an increase of 11 percent with respect to the heat sources registered in June 2021 and the highest amount in the last 15 years.
The fires in the largest tropical forest on the planet had been declining since February, but picked up momentum again as of May, when 2,287 fire points were reported. The number of fires is expected to increase in the coming dry season in the coming months.
A part of the fire that consumes the Amazonian vegetation occurs because small farmers use to burn their land to clean the cultivation areas. On June 23, the use of fire for this practice was prohibited for 120 days. Nevertheless, some 1,113 outbreaks have been registered since then.
Wildfires are getting larger, more deadly, and more frequent across the globe. This story map examines patterns and trends in global wildfires using data from @NASA's Aqua satellite, like this map of the burning Amazon in the summer of 2019. https://t.co/o3xnouujuw pic.twitter.com/Jp8QExOsEH— Esri (@Esri) June 28, 2022
Most of the fires in the Amazon basin, however, are caused by deforestation, which is permanently fueled by illegal mining and the illicit timber trade. Unfortunately, 72.5 percent of Brazilian mining occurs in the Amazon.
Environmentalists blame the growing devastation of the jungle on the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has relaxed environmental controls and promoted activities that destroy native vegetation, as he defends the economic exploitation of the Amazon and the end of the demarcation of new indigenous reservations.
"In the last three years, this scenario has been strengthened as a direct result of a policy successfully applied to facilitate and encourage environmental crimes," Greenpeace Brazil Spokesperson Cristiane Mazzetti said.
Brazil's housing movements took to the streets in 20 cities yesterday to demand the extension of an evictions ban passed during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic. If it's lifted they say hundreds of thousands of people will be become homeless. My story for @telesurenglish pic.twitter.com/WAVGOrn2Mo— BrianMier (@BrianMteleSUR) June 22, 2022