Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Brazilian Military Planes Douse Flames as Amazon Fires Reach Bolivia

Climate
Brazilian Military Planes Douse Flames as Amazon Fires Reach Bolivia

Heavy smoke blanketed the city of Porto Velho in the northwestern state of Rondonia as military planes struggled to douse the fires raging in the Amazon that have raised an international outcry.


A video posted by Brazil's Ministry of Defense showed a C-130 Hercules plane, one of two sent to the region, dumping water out of its jets while flying over the smoke-covered rainforest canopy near Porto Velho.

After facing international criticism that Brazil was not doing enough to fight the fires, President Jair Bolsonaro announced earlier in the week that he would send in the military to fight the fires. As of Sunday, Bolsonaro had authorized military operations in seven of Brazil's 26 states in response to requests for help from local governments.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Defense said in a briefing that 44,000 troops were available in the northern Amazon region but did not provide further operational details as to where they would be deployed and what they would do.

New fires continued to break out over the weekend, even as the government stepped up its operations. Some 1,130 new fires were ignited between Friday and Saturday, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) noted.

Close to 80,000 fires have been registered across large swaths of the Amazon, the highest number since at least 2013, according to INPE.

Fires, Smoke Reach Bolivia

The Amazon Basin, where at least half the fires are located, is home to some 20 million people.

On Sunday, giant smoke clouds covered Porto Velho, the capital city of Rondonia and home to some half a million inhabitants. Brazil's Justice Minister Sergio Moro authorized 30 military police to be sent to Porto Velho to assist in fighting the fires.

Army soliders and firefighters were sent to the city of Porto Velho to help fight the forest fires

Thousands of protesters also took to the street in Rio de Janeiro, demanding that the government do more to tackle the fires and chanting, "Bolsonaro leave, Amazon stay."

The fires have also affected neighboring Bolivia, as flames and smoke from the fires in Brazil swept to the border. Fires have also been burning in Chiquitania, a tropical savannah region on the Bolivian side of the border. President Evo Morales suspended his election campaign to deal with the fires and said he would accept international help to fight the blazes.

About 60% of the Amazon lies in Brazil. The rainforest is considered vital in the fight against climate change because of the large amounts of carbon dioxide that it absorbs. It is also home to an incredible array of biodiversity.

Experts attribute the cause of the fires to the clearing of land during the dry season for agricultural use.

Reposted with permission from our media associate DW.

Sun Cable hopes to start construction of the world's largest solar farm in 2023. Sun Cable
A large expanse of Australia's deserted Outback will house the world's largest solar farm and generate enough energy to export power to Singapore, as The Guardian reported.
Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Construction on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric station in 2015. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

In 1999 a cheering crowd watched as a backhoe breached a hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River. The effort to help restore native fish populations and the river's health was hailed as a success and ignited a nationwide movement that spurred 1,200 dam removals in two decades.

Read More Show Less

Trending

We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.

Read More Show Less
A new study has revealed that Earth's biggest mass extinction was triggered by volcanic activity that led to ocean acidification. Illustration by Dawid Adam Iurino (PaleoFactory, Sapienza University of Rome) for Jurikova et al (2020)

The excess carbon dioxide emitted by human activity since the start of the industrial revolution has already raised the Earth's temperature by more than one degree Celsius, increased the risk of extreme hurricanes and wildfires and killed off more than half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef. But geologic history shows that the impacts of greenhouse gases could be much worse.

Read More Show Less
Coronavirus-sniffing dogs Miina and Kössi (R) are seen in Vantaa, Finland on September 2, 2020. Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva / AFP/ Getty Images

By Teri Schultz

Europe is in a panic over the second wave of COVID-19, with infection rates sky-rocketing and GDP plummeting. Belgium has just announced it will no longer test asymptomatic people, even if they've been in contact with someone who has the disease, because the backlog in processing is overwhelming. Other European countries are also struggling to keep up testing and tracing.

Meanwhile in a small cabin in Helsinki airport, for his preferred payment of a morsel of cat food, rescue dog Kossi needs just a few seconds to tell whether someone has coronavirus.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch