Brazil's army fights Amazon fires after hundreds more flare up

phys.org | 8/24/2019 | Staff
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Brazil on Sunday deployed two C-130 Hercules aircraft to douse fires devouring parts of the Amazon rainforest, as hundreds of new blazes were ignited ahead of nationwide protests over the destruction.

Heavy smoke covered the city of Porto Velho in the northwestern state of Rondonia where the defense ministry said the planes have started dumping thousands of liters of water, amid a global uproar over the worst fires in years.

Swathes - Region - Bolivia - Blazes - Smoke

Swathes of the remote region bordering Bolivia have been scorched by the blazes, sending thick smoke billowing into the sky and increasing air pollution across the world's largest rainforest, which is seen as crucial to mitigating climate change.

Experts say increased land clearing during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has aggravated the problem this year.

Year - Smoke - Deliana - Amorim - AFP

"It gets worse every year—this year, the smoke has been really serious," Deliana Amorim, 46, told AFP in Porto Velho where half a million people live.

At least seven states, including Rondonia, have requested the army's help in the Amazon, where more than 43,000 troops are based and available to combat fires, officials said.

Dozens - Firefighters - Route - Porto - Velho

Dozens of firefighters are en route to Porto Velho to help put out the blazes. Justice Minister Sergio Moro has also given the green light for the deployment of security forces to tackle illegal deforestation in the region.

The fires have triggered a global outcry and are a major topic of concern at the G7 meeting in Biarritz in southern France.

World - Leaders - Summit - Countries - Fires

World leaders at the summit have agreed to help the countries affected by the fires "as fast as possible," French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday.

US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier offered their countries' assistance.

President - Evo - Morales - Sunday - Help

Bolivian President Evo Morales said Sunday he would accept international help to combat wildfires raging in the country's southeast as he...
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