Brazil’s Pantanal region is the world’s largest floodplain, home to vast biodiversity that includes endangered animal species such as the jaguar and the blue macaw. Blessed with some of the country’s most picturesque landscapes, it is traditionally a major draw for tourists from within Brazil and abroad. But this expansive wetland is burning, suffering from more forest fires than it has seen in the last 22 years, during an exceptional drought.
Between January 1 and July 21, the National Institute of Space Research (Inpe) recorded 3,415 fires in the region, an increase of 189 percent compared to the same period in 2019. In fact, it is the most devastating fire season since 1998, when Inpe began monitoring blazes in the Pantanal.