Amazon fires 15-22 August 2019. Satellite image taken by MODIS. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
10 Jul 2020

Forest fire season in the Amazonas could get worse this year than 2019


The number of forest fires in the Amazon has increased 20 percent in June, reports BBC News. That´s the highest figures for the month of June in 13 years.

There is now widespread worry that this year's fires could turn out even worse than the record summer of 2019, BBC reports.

In June 2020, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, INPE, registered 2,248 forest fires.

In June 2019, the corresponding figure was 1,880.

"We cannot allow the 2019 situation to be repeated," says Mauricio Voivodic, director of the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, Brazil in local media according to the BBC.

Forest fires in the Amazon are a regular problem, but have worsened in recent years. Last year, data from INPE showed that the number of forest fires had increased by 84 percent from 2018 to 2019.

In 2019, a maximum of 30,901 fires were registered, three times as many as during 2018.


Could get worse during the pandemic

During the three to five month drought period, forest fires in the Amazon are more common.

They occur to some extent naturally or accidentally, but in many cases fires are man made, either legally or illegally.

Activists are now worried that the coronavirus pandemic will worsen the situation. This is because the authorities' resources are needed elsewhere, meaning that the Amazon forests cannot be monitored as normal.


Illustration (Cover photo): Amazon fires 15-22 August 2019. Satellite image taken by MODIS. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia 

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