translated from Spanish: Huge fire burns in Pantanal area in Brazil

Some 1.5 million hectares (5,800 square miles) have been on fire in the Pantanal region since August, according to preliminary estimates from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, based on satellite imagery. The area is comparable to the area currently being affected by the flames in California and is also much higher than the previous record, recorded in the 2005 fire season.The Brazilian National Institute of Space Research, whose satellites capture the magnitude of the flames, noted that the fires in Pantanal the first 12 days of September were almost three times what they were in that same period last year. Between January and August, the number of fires almost tripled, reaching more than 10,000.Fernando Tortato, who lives and works in the nearby town of Encontro Das Aguas since 2008, says he has never seen the fire as big as this year.» This is an immense area that has been burned, consumed by flames, and there are still two, three or four weeks of dry season,» said Tortato.Firefighters, soldiers and volunteers have tried to rescue animals that are threatened by the flames, aggravated by the worst drought in 47 years, strong winds and temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).



Original source in Spanish

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