One million hectares of the Pantanal have been destroyed from January until now in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, according to the Environmental Satellite Applications Laboratory at UFRJ.
The president of Ibama, Rodrigo Agostinho, arrived in Cuiabá on Tuesday (14) to monitor the situation in the biome. The MT government published a decree of environmental emergency for 60 days. In MS, five cities are in an emergency situation.
The lack of rain, high temperatures and strong winds make it difficult to put out the fires, which spread easily due to dry vegetation.
“During this period of November, it is common for this rainfall to start here in the Pantanal. This accumulation of days without rain is causing all this spread. That’s why in the last week the hot spots here in Mato Grosso do Sul have intensified”, reports Tatiane Inoue, lieutenant colonel of the Fire Department.
Vegetation can take years to recover. The fire also threatens animals in the Pantanal. According to biologists, the fauna has not yet recovered from the large fires in the biome of 2021 and 2022.
“Human interference has greatly increased the occurrence of fires. We need to act not only in restoration, but mainly in prevention”, says Gustavo Figueirôa, from SOS Pantanal.
In total, 299 federal employees work in the biome with the support of aircraft and boats to fight the fires.