Brazil's military firefighters prepare to tackle Amazon blaze

Mail Online | 8/24/2019 | Henry Martin For Mailonline
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Brazilian troops with the backing of military aircraft and firefighters are deploying in the Amazon to tackle the blaze.

Some 44,000 troops are launching 'unprecedented' operations to put out the fires, and forces are heading to six Brazilian states - Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins, Para, Acre and Mato Grosso - that requested federal help, Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo revealed.

Military - Mission - Troops - Porto - Velho

The military's first mission will see 700 troops deployed around Porto Velho, capital of Rondonia, with two C-130 Hercules aircraft capable of dumping up to 3,170 gallons of water being sent to the fires, Azevedo added.

A number of servicemen from the country's National Force stood in line at the Military Air Base in Brasilia, waiting to board a plane to Rondonia, northern Brazil on August 24, but their flights were delayed until Sunday morning for operational reasons.

Brazil - President - Jair - Bolsonaro - Concern

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to temper global concern over the ongoing crisis, saying that previously deforested areas had burned and that intact rainforest was spared. Even so, the fires were likely to be urgently discussed at a summit of the Group of Seven leaders in France this weekend.

The Brazilian military operations came after widespread criticism of Bolsonaro's handling of the crisis. On Friday, the president authorized the armed forces to put out fires, saying he is committed to protecting the Amazon region.

Azevedo - Defense - Minister - US - President

Azevedo, the defense minister, noted U.S. President Donald Trump's offer in a tweet to help Brazil fight the fires, and said there had been no further contact on the matter.

Despite international concern, Bolsonaro told reporters on Saturday that the situation was returning to normal. He said he was 'speaking to everyone' about the problem, including Trump, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and several Latin American leaders.

Bolsonaro - Protections - Obstacle - Brazil - Development

Bolsonaro had described rainforest protections as an obstacle to Brazil's economic development, sparring with critics who say...
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