• Wildfires in Amazon rainforest hit record number this year

    Updated:

    Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest have hit a record number this year.

    Brazil's Space Research Center has detected 72,843 fires so far.

    The agency said Tuesday, August 20, the surge marks an 83% increase over the same period of 2018 and is the highest since records began in 2013.


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    It added that since last Thursday, August 15, satellite images spotted 9,507 new forest fires in the country, mostly in the Amazon basin, home to the world's largest tropical forest seen as vital to countering global warming.

    Large portions of Brazil are covered in thick smoke.

    The unprecedented surge in wildfires has occurred since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January, vowing to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring international concern over increased deforestation.


     

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