Brazil’s Amazon Has Highest Number of Fires for June in 14 Years

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Brazil’s Amazon in June recorded the highest number of fires for the month since 2007 with the government’s environmental track-record and policies coming under growing scrutiny.

Fire incidents rose 2.7% to a total of 2,308 “focus points” from the same month a year ago. When compared to 2019, it recorded a 22.8% surge, according to data collected by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, called INPE.

The figures pose a challenge for the new environment minister, Joaquim Alvaro Pereira Leite, who took office after Ricardo Salles quit on June 23. Salles is one of the targets of an investigation by Brazil’s Supreme Court into illegal wood exports to the U.S.

Brazil’s Amazon Has Highest Number of Fires for June in 14 Years

The jump in the number of fires occurs against the backdrop of increased global pressure on Brazil to improve its environmental record.

Each year during Brazil’s dry season, frequent forest fires are detected, most often intentionally set in order to clear land. “The fire season is just beginning,” said the group Observatorio do Clima in a press release. “The critical period for the biome occurs from June to October.”

This year Brazil is particularly vulnerable to fires due to a record-setting drought.

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