The number of forest fires in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state increased by 109 per cent so far this year compared to the same period in 2019.
According to data from the National Institute for Space Research released on Wednesday, a total of 4,214 fires have erupted this year in the most populated and industrialized state in the South American country, compared to 2,015 in 2019, reports Xinhua news agency.
Historically, the months of August and September see the most outbreaks, and from September 1 to 13, 1,470 outbreaks were registered in contrast to the historical average of 796 outbreaks for the entire month.
A massive fire was currently raging in the mountainous region of the Sierra de la Mantiqueira, on the border with the neighbouring state of Minas Gerais, according to local authorities.
The regional government has sent a contingent of 400 firefighters to try to combat the blaze, which is consuming large tracts of the area’s Atlantic Forest.
More fires have also broken out in other ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest to the north, and the Pantanal plain in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso.
The latter has declared a state of emergency due to the fires.
In addition to drought, farmers are burning fields to prepare for new crops and livestock, according to the local government of Aguas da Prata, a town in Sao Paulo that has been hard hit by fires.