Fires more numerous in Brazil’s Cerrado than Amazon, shows govt data; experts say flames advancing due to high temperatures

  • Fires are now more numerous in Brazil's Cerrado region, a vast tropical savanna, than in the Amazon rainforest, data published on Wednesday by the National Institute for Space Research show

  • The government's monitoring agency reported 8,012 fires in the Cerrado region and 7,457 fires in the Amazon region in the first 10 days of September

  • The Cerrado is always hot and dry at this time of the year, and fire is often used by farmers to clear land and pastures

Rio de Janeiro: Fires are now more numerous in Brazil's Cerrado region, a vast tropical savanna, than in the Amazon rainforest, data published on Wednesday by the National Institute for Space Research show.

 Fires more numerous in Brazil’s Cerrado than Amazon, shows govt data; experts say flames advancing due to high temperatures

Smoke billows from a fire in the Amazon basin near Candeias do Jamari, Brazil. AFP

The government's monitoring agency reported 8,012 fires in the Cerrado region and 7,457 fires in the Amazon region in the first 10 days of September.

The Cerrado is always hot and dry at this time of the year, and fire is often used by farmers to clear land and pastures. But flames are advancing particularly fast, as temperatures have risen unusually high in the last few days, experts said.

In Santa Catarina state, fires had destroyed over 500 hectares (about 1,235 acres) of vegetation by Wednesday morning in the Serra do Tabuleiro state park, online news portal G1 said on Wednesday. Officials issued an emergency call on Tuesday requesting reinforcement to combat the flames in this protected area.

"This is all manmade," said Carlos Nobre, a University of Sao Paulo climate scientist. He said there was no evidence any of the fires had been caused naturally. "The dry weather, hotter and less humid, induces greater propagation of the fires," he said.

In recent weeks, fires across Brazilian forests have spread at a pace unseen since 2010, stirring an international outcry. Worries have been particularly high over fires in the Amazon rainforest area, because of its role in absorbing heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Updated Date: Sep 12, 2019 10:51:10 IST