Sao Paulo.- The Brazilian Pantanal, one of the main wetlands on the planet, In July, the largest fires recorded for the month in two decades following a historic drought in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, as explained to Efe the Secretary of the Environment of the region, Jaime Verruck.Only in July were a total of 1,669 fire bulbs in the Pantanal, the highest number for the month since they began to be measured by the authorities in 1998.
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In July, 180,000 hectares were charred, while in the first seven months of the year the fire consumed a total of 820,000 hectares in the Pantanal, a biome that also expands through the neighboring state of Mato Grosso, where fires have also intensified.» From January to now we are with an impact above the historical average. Since the beginning of 2020 we recorded 4,203 heat bulbs, we had years older than that, but the month of July is being record,» the secretary stressed.
Photografiá of July 25, 2020, ceded by the fire department of the state of Mato Grosso, shows an aerial general view of the flames in the city of Poconé, consuming the Pantanal, in Mato Grosso. / Photo: EFE.
Mato Grosso do Sul is currently the fifth state in the country with the highest number of fire hotspots, but the town of Corumbá, a municipality the size of Rio de Janeiro, is at the top of the list of municipalities with fires. Corumbá, like Ladario, was declared in emergency this week due to the advance of fires in the area, which coincide with the time of drought, which this year is the worst in half a century. The Armed Forces have joined the work carried out by the Mato Grosso do Sul Fire Department, which displaced units from all over the state, mainly from the capital Campo Grande, 427 kilometers away.» We declared environmental emergency a week ago, we managed in the last week to reduce the fire bulbs by 50%. When we started the operation in Corumbá there were 163 spotlights and now there are 40 spotlights,» the secretary said. According to Verruck, the situation begins «to be under control», but the Pantanal, recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco and where thousands of mammals, fish and birds live together, will remain in a state of emergency for 180 days due to the absence of rain planned for the next three months. The use of fire is a traditional practice to prepare planting camps in Brazil, but the government of Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as the federal government, has banned its use to prevent the increase of fires both in the Pantanal and elsewhere in the country, such as the Brazilian Amazon. Last year, vast fires in the Amazon and pantanal spread throughout the region and their shocking images alarmed the world and leaders of the most developed countries, which called into question the government’s preservation policies for far-right Jair Bolsonaro.Despite the government’s ban on fire in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest recorded the largest number of heat hotspots in the past fifteen years on the eve, according to data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) to which local media had access. You may also be interested in: