The Amazon fires aren't a natural disaster. 'Bolsonaro has created the perfect conditions for this perfect storm,' one researcher said.

Business Insider | 8/25/2019 | Aylin Woodward
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So far this year, Brazil has experienced more than 84,000 fires— more than double the 2018 total of 40,000. Some 20,000 of these fires started in the past few weeks, many of them in the Brazilian Amazon.

Most of the blazes were set deliberately — and illegally — by farmers and loggers to clear land for crops and pastures.

President - Jair - Bolsonaro - Administration - Policing

But President Jair Bolsonaro's administration has cut back on policing of such activity since he took office.

"He's created the perfect conditions for this perfect storm," one researcher said of Bolsonaro.

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The world's largest rainforest is ablaze. On August 20, a new fire started every minute in Brazil.

Couple - Weeks - Fires - Brazil - Amazon

In the last couple of weeks, more than 19,500 fires have sparked in Brazil, most of them in the Amazon basin. The blazes can be seen from space, and the smoke even temporarily eclipsed the sun in São Paulo.

So far this year, Brazil has recorded more than 84,000 fires— an annual record, according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and double the 2018 total of about 40,000. More than 57,500 of those fires are in the Brazilian Amazon.

Fires - People - Order - Land - Farmers

Most of these fires are small and were deliberately started by people in order to deforest the land. Farmers and loggers set fire to the rainforest during the summer months each year to clear swaths of Amazon for industrial or agricultural use. In that sense, deforestation and fires are two sides of the same coin.

So it follows that the Brazilian Amazon is also experiencing record-breaking deforestation. Last month, the Amazon shrunk by 519 square miles (1,345 square kilometers) — the most ever in a single month, The Guardian reported. Data from INPE satellites indicated that about three football fields' worth of Amazonian trees fell every minute last month. The total deforested area in...
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