Record number of fires blaze in Brazil’s Amazon and Pantanal wetlands in October

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Nov. 2 (UPI) — A record number of fires blazed in Brazil’s Amazon and Pantanal wetlands in October, new satellite data indicates.

Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research reported 17,326 fires in the Amazon in October, which is more than double the 7,855 during the same month in 2019, BBC reported.

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Satellite data released Sunday also indicated a record 2,856 fires in the Pantanal wetlands region last month, the highest monthly figure in over 30 years.

Campaigners claim the government hasn’t done enough to curb the surge in fires, but the government denies the blame.

The government imposed a 120-day ban on setting fires in July, but the Institute of Space Research data indicate that the measures have not stopped the rise.

President Jair Bolsonaro had no comment on the latest figures, but last year contested the veracity of data from the National Space Research Institute showing increasing deforestation of the Amazon.

The INPE data also showed that 93,485 fires have been recorded in the Amazon this year, which is 25% higher than the same period last year.

Wildfires were already on the rise last year, with the INPE reporting an 82% increase in wildfires from January to August compared to the the same time frame in 2018.