Climate Change

Strong fires in 4 Brazilian states, Federal District, satellite images show

It will rain in the last quarter of the year in Brazil but it won’t be enough to end the drought aiding the fires, say experts

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 27 September 2021

An ongoing wildfire near Morpara in Bahia, Brazil. Photo: CopernicusAn ongoing wildfire near Morpara in Bahia, Brazil. Photo: Copernicus

Wildfires in four states and the Federal District of Brazil have exceeded the historical average for the month of September, Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation programme reported recently.

Copernicus, on September 23, 2021, uploaded an image that showed an ongoing wildfire near Morpara in Bahia, Brazil.

It added:

According to data released by the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE — Brazil’s Space Research Centre), fires in the Federal District, Minas Gerai, São Paulo, and Bahia exceeded the historical average for the month of September. The fires, clearly of human origin, are fuelled by the heavy drought and repeated heat waves that are affecting Brazil.

The information given on Copernicus’ website cited information from Globo.com, a Portuguese language e-paper owned by Brazil’s largest media group, the Grupo Globo.

According to the e-paper, fires were advancing in Sau Paulo state. In the Federal District of Brasilia, forest fires had already destroyed 14,064 hectares of forest area. 

In Minas Gervais, 20 conservation units had been affected by the fire. In the state of Bahia, nine cities still had fire outbreaks as of September 20. More than half of the fires in Bahia had been recorded in the month of September.

Globo.com quoted an expert as saying that the uncontrollable fires were primarily because of humans and aided by a very prolonged period of drought.

For instance, Teresina, the capital of Piauí state, had the driest August in the last five years. It rained there in the first 15 days of September after almost 40 days without water.

Globo.com added that according to INPE, there would be above average rainfall in the last quarter of the year in northern, central and eastern Brazil. However, it will not be enough to solve all the problems caused by drought.

Rain in November are expected to be irregular according to Climatempo, a Brazilian television channel specialising in weather. December too will see below average rainfall.

Water levels in Brazil’s reservoirs continue to decrease, according to Globo.com.

The situation is most worrying in the set of hydroelectric dams in the Southeast and Midwest regions, which concentrates 70 per cent of all water stored in Brazil, the e-paper said.

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