Brazil reports more Amazon fires so far this year than all of 2021

Satellite monitoring has detected 75,592 fires from Jan 1 to Sept 18, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

RIO DE JANEIRO - The number of forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon so far this year has already surpassed that recorded for all of 2021, according to official figures released Monday that triggered new alarm for the world's biggest rainforest.

Satellite monitoring has detected 75,592 fires from Jan 1 to Sept 18, 2022, already higher than the 75,090 detected for all of 2021, according to the Brazilian space agency, INPE.

The latest grim news from the rainforest will likely add to pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro, who is fighting to win reelection next month and faces international criticism over a surge in destruction in the Amazon on his watch.

Since the far-right agribusiness ally took office in January 2019, average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by 75 per cent compared to the previous decade.

Greenpeace Brazil spokesman Andre Freitas called the latest figures a "tragedy foretold."

"After four years of a clear and objective anti-environmental policy by the federal government, we are seeing that as this government's term - one of the darkest periods ever for the Brazilian environment - comes to an end, land-grabbers and other illegal actors see it as the perfect opportunity to advance on the forest," he said in a statement. AFP

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