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Wildfires in Amazon : what’s really going on ?

Lovers of nature and supporters of the planet, you are aware that the Amazon is currently experiencing an emergency. With nearly 73,000 fire starts recorded since the beginning of the year, the green lungs of the planet have never experienced so much trouble breathing. Almost invisible behind the thick clouds of smoke, the Amazonian forests are ravaged by the flames. But what is really happening in Brazil ? How to explain the 83% increase of forest fires in this country compared to 2018 ? As the Amazon rainforest burns, how can you extinguish the embers and rekindle the flame of hope ?



Amazon ravaged by flames

Like many NGOs and environmental associations, the OMPE has long been concerned about the situation in the Amazon. In a previous article, we had also alerted about the acceleration of Amazonian deforestation, particularly because of slash-and-burn agriculture, an agricultural technique that acts like a real steamroller. To prepare land for cultivation, the peasants simply set fire to the plot. But, most often, it spreads to neighboring plots without being extinguished. Only rain or a barrier of wet vegetation will end the path of the flames.

Unfortunately, our fears turned out to be true. In only 1 month (from May to June 2019), 4700 km² of forest went up in smoke in the Amazon. An environmental destruction in favor of a so-called economic development and pushed by the policy of Jair Bolsonaro, the current president of Brazil. While the citizen and political world has their eyes riveted on the Amazon, Jair Bolsonaro has so few answers.

After accusing NGOs of being responsible for the fires that ravage the lungs of the planet, the Brazilian president then hid behind dry weather, wind and heat. Admittedly, the months of July-August are every year conducive to fires in Brazil. But how to explain that their number has increased by 83% compared to 2018 ? At the same time that deforestation also jumped 88.4% in June 2019 compared to 2018. The “sudden” acceleration of the emergency in the Amazon is clearly due to the policy of Jair Bolsonaro. Recall that he has always stated his desire to intensify deforestation for economic reasons and promote agribusiness.


Where will the solution come from ?

Hundreds of images of wildfires in Amazonia are currently circulating on the Internet, including social media. It is important to remember, however, that some of them are old photos of fires taken by photographers several years ago. However, they have the merit of awakening consciences and make citizens take the full measure of urgency. Is not it said that “a picture is worth a thousand words” ? What we are witnessing now is dramatic, as well as the total lack of reaction on the part of Jair Bolsonaro. The solution will certainly not come from the Brazilian government. In which case, where will it come from ?

Citizens, NGOs and associations, institutions, policies and even states are rising up and are already demanding accountability from the culprits. Since his election, Jair Bolsonaro has been the target of an avalanche of criticism and faces pressure from environmental advocates. Thousands of gatherings are held in Brazil and around the world. The petition “Stop the fire of the Amazon rainforest !“, Which calls for the mobilization of all Brazilian authorities to end the fire of the Amazon, will certainly pass the bar of 3 million signatures. Some neighboring countries, such as Ecuador, have also offered help and fire brigades specialized in forest fires. As for us, we are offering more than ever to the governments of all the countries concerned to help us with the rapid development of the UFFFES (Ultra Fast Forest Fire Extinguishing System) to asphyxiate the flames and replace the current systems totally obsolete. And so that the beautiful Amazon continues to exist.


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