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Wildfires: Threat to the Exclusive Environment of Brazil

  • Posted on June 11, 2024
  • News

Intense wildfires are ravaging Brazil's biodiverse Pantanal wetlands, with fires up 935% from last year. Firefighters battle to save jaguars and ecosystems facing an ecological catastrophe.


Severe fires are erupting through the Brazilian Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands and a habitat that hosts some of the most endangered species like jaguars and giant otters. Firemen are barely able to control the fire incident, which impacted 31,768 hectares of the territory of Mato Grosso do Sul. 

Climate specialists have noted this year’s wildfire season began earlier, and it is worse compared to previous years. The wind is so intense and has been very dry for a long time hence facilitating the fires to be able to spread through the territory and the type of land that is available. 

“The situation is critical,” pointed out Vinicius Silgueiro of Instituto Centro da Vida, an environmental NGO. These fires have escalated even during the rainy period and with dry season commencing in August and September we may well have an ecological catastrophe in the Pantanal. 

As per INPE, 2020 fire occurrences from the beginning of this year until early June was 935% more than the fire occurrences in 2023. Alone this year, more than 1300 fires were reported, much higher than the 127 that was registered in 2023, and thus, 2024 is the most destructive fire season in the area since the fires of 2020 that burned 30% of Pantanal. 

Brazil itself has claimed that it is in an environmental crisis and the government has invested in combating it. More recently, Minister of the Environment, Marina Silva, has demanded swifter responses and enhanced protection from fires in the Pantanal and Amazonian areas. 

Also Read: Canada suffers from Zombie Fires and faces a threat of wildfires throughout the year

Experts warn that the fires endanger the entire Pantanal region as it was just beginning to rehabilitate from the largest fires recorded in the region in 2020. The fight starts now before a situation where a runaway fire threatens to destroy this valuable ecological resource irretrievably.

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