Measures enable federal government participation in state areas through Civil Defense
The governments of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso declared an emergency situation due to fires in the northern region of Pantanal. The measures enable the participation of the federal government in state areas through Civil Defense, in addition to the transfer of resources for actions to combat forest fires and municipalities affected by the disaster.
The president of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), Rodrigo Agostinho, is in Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso, to coordinate the actions. The work plan is being defined jointly by federal and state agencies.
For Agostinho, integrated work is essential to have a good result. “We know that, as an area affected, it is much smaller than in 2020, but the Pantanal is surprising. Every fire in the Pantanal needs attention. It’s not something simple, so let’s work together,” he said in a statement.
The Mato Grosso decree, published this Tuesday (14), is valid for 60 days and reinforces another measure that determined the extension of the prohibitive period for burning in the state until November 30, to meet a requirement from the federal government. in the request for support to fight fires.
The document cites adverse weather conditions – prolonged drought, high temperatures, heat waves, low air humidity and intense winds – which favor the occurrence of fires. The situation also causes health problems, especially for the elderly and children.
In Mato Grosso, the flames are concentrated in the Pantanal National Park (Parna), in the Dorochê Private Natural Heritage Reserve (RPPN), in the Encontro das Águas and Rio Negro state parks and on private properties. The concern is with the spread of fires to the northern region of Mato Grosso do Sul.
Two helicopters will be added to the fighting structure to transport brigade members, four wheel loaders, six boats and satellite internet kits.
Ibama and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) had already announced reinforcements of brigade members and planes for the region, where they have been operating since July. In total, 299 brigade members and federal employees are in the Pantanal.
Causes – On October 21, three lightning strikes struck Parna do Pantanal, the Dorochê Private Natural Heritage Reserve and a nearby private property, starting fires. Since January, the federal government has been planning to prevent and combat fires in the biome. In May, the Action Plan for Integrated Fire Management in the Pantanal was launched. The initiative had the participation of representatives of civil society and the States of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.
The plan resulted in preventive actions to prevent the eventual spread of fire, such as prescribed burns. The activities were carried out together with riverside communities around the main rivers in the region.
Due to the extension of the dry period in the biome and difficulties in accessing areas with forest fires, the teams needed to be reinforced. Furthermore, there is a forecast of an increase in temperature over the next 15 days in the region.
Mato Grosso do Sul – In Mato Grosso do Sul, the emergency decree, also published yesterday, will be valid for 90 days and is valid for the municipalities of Corumbá, Ladário, Miranda, Aquidauana and Porto Murtinho, cities in the Pantanal region most affected by the fires .
The forest fire monitoring bulletin in the state – prepared by the Weather and Climate Monitoring Center of Mato Grosso do Sul and the Fire Department – points out that, in the period from January 1st to November 12th, 2023 – there was a reduction in 8.7% in the burned area of the Cerrado biome in Mato Grosso do Sul and an increase of 95.8% in the Pantanal biome, compared to the year 2022.
“The state of Mato Grosso do Sul has been facing an intense heat wave with temperatures recorded between 38°C and 43°C, combined with low relative humidity values, between 10% and 30%”, says the decree of the government of Mato Grosso do Sul, citing temperatures of 42.7°C and 42.0°C, in Porto Murtinho and Corumbá, respectively, “resulting in the emergence of hundreds of hot spots and large fires”.