In recent weeks thousands of fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest. Satellite data show that there are almost four times as many fires this year compared to the same period last year (2018). Apart from Brazil, parts of Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina have also been affected. This was reported in a communiqué from the European Space Agency (ESA) on 27 August.
While forest fires normally occur in Brazil’s dry season, which runs from July to October, the unprecedented increase is reported to come from both legal and illegal deforestation which allows land to be used for agricultural purposes, rising global temperatures are also thought to be making the region more susceptible to fire.