The number of wildfires in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest rose by 28 percent in July from a year earlier, Brazilian research institute INPE reported on Sunday.
The Brazilian government institute conducting research into and from space registered 6,803 wildfires in the Amazon rainforest in July. That is the largest number of fires in a month of July in three years. That equates to a 28 percent increase from July 2019, when 5,318 wildfires were observed.
Experts are concerned about the increase, as a period of high forest fires usually does not begin until August. They fear Brazil will be hit just as hard in this month as it was in August 2019, when the institute had 30,900 wildfires. That was the largest number of fires in an August month in twelve years.
The experts blame the Brazilian government in part for the forest fires, because it is said to be insufficient against the plans of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. He wants to deforest parts of the Amazon to stimulate the economy. In addition, it is exceptionally dry in the area this year.
In mid-July, the government temporarily banned deforestation in certain areas, but the expert says this approach is not effective. “We can conclude from the data until the end of July that the actions of the government to prevent forest fires and deforestation have little effect,” said Carlos Nobre, a scientist from the University of São Paulo.
Forest fires usually occur in the Amazon in July and August, when a drier period begins.