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Fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest surged in July

FILE PHOTO: Smoke billows from a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

FILE PHOTO: Smoke billows from a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

Brasilia, August 1 (RHC)-- The number of fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest jumped 28% in July from a year ago, official data showed on Saturday, as some environmentalists warned a jump this week could signal a repeat of last year’s surging destruction of the world’s largest rainforest.

According to Reuters news agency, Brazil’s space research agency Inpe recorded 6,803 fires in the Amazon last month, up from 5,318 in July 2019.

Although that is a three-year high for July, the figure pales in comparison to last year’s peak of 30,900 fires in August – a 12-year high for that month.

Still, environmental groups say there are worrying signs of what may come, with the final days of the month showing a sharp spike. More than 1,000 fires were registered on July 30, the highest number for a single day in July since 2005, according to an analysis by advocacy group Greenpeace Brasil.

“It’s a terrible sign,” said Ane Alencar, science director at Brazil’s Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM). “We can expect that August will already be a difficult month and September will be worse yet.”

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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