The Brazilian Amazon rainforest is suffering from more fires than at any point in nearly five years, spurred on by a surge in illegal deforestation.
According to Brazil’s national space institute, satellites have detected more than 33,000 fires as the rainforest enters the peak of fire season, which often correlates with high levels of deforestation activity.
“The deforestation rate is very high. That means there are many fallen trees ready to burn,” Ane Alencar, coordinator of the Mapbiomas Fire project, told The Associated Press. “The fire season will be even more intense in September.”
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticised for his failure to combat illegal deforestation and for what critics have alleged is a sympathetic view of such activities. The fires are commonly started by groups making room for cattle to graze, and environmental land defenders and Indigenous groups have faced violence and suppression.
The Amazon experienced the worst August …