The number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon fell 5% in August compared to the same period in 2019, when they were at their highest for nine years, according to satellite data released Tuesday, September 1.
Further south, in the Pantanal, the planet's largest wetland and biodiversity sanctuary, the number of outbreaks has tripled compared to August 2019.
Read also: Brazil: fires "poison the air" in the Amazon
The situation remains very worrying in the Amazon, with 29,307 outbreaks identified by the satellites of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), slightly less than in 2019 (30,900), but by far the second highest figure of the decade .
And this figure could be lower than reality, due to a technical problem that occurred on August 16 on one of the satellites used for the observations of the fires, indicated the INPE.
The total remains above the historical annual average in August (26,082 outbreaks), at the heart of the dry season.
Environmentalists believe that the decline from last year remains very slight, despite the deployment of the military to fight these fires and a government decree of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro banning agricultural burning for four months since July.
These data confirm the failure of the expensive and poorly coordinated operation of the army decided by the Bolsonaro government, instead of a real plan to combat deforestation,
" denounced the NGO collective Climate Observatory in a statement.
39,187 fires identified in the Brazilian Amazon
Forest fires are the direct consequence of deforestation, with farmers burning in deforested areas to graze livestock.
Fires do not take place naturally in the Amazon and this practice is increasingly common due to the lack of monitoring and the dismantling of environmental public bodies
", adds Romulo Batista, head of Greenpeace in Brazil.
Since the deployment of the army in May, 39,187 outbreaks of fires have been identified in the Brazilian Amazon, slightly more than the 38,952 recorded during the same period in 2019. Over the period from August 2019 to July 2020, considered as reference by specialists to observe the evolution of deforestation, 9,205 km2 have been deforested, 34.5% more than during the previous 12 months.
In the Pantanal, 5,935 outbreaks were recorded last month - the worst month of August since 2005 - against 1,690 over the same period in 2019. From January to August 2020, the increase is 220% compared to the first eight month of last year.