Environment

Pantanal wildfires continue to rage out of control

One year after Amazon fires outraged the world, Brazil sees itself hit by yet another massive environmental tragedy

pantanal fires deforestation
Photo: Mayke Toscano/Secom/MT

The worst largest wetland region is experiencing its worst tragedy in decades. In 2020, almost 17 percent of the native vegetation in Brazil’s Pantanal biome has been destroyed by thousands of uncontrolled wildfires — an area bigger than the entire territory of Israel. Until Sunday, 14,500 fires had been recorded in the region this year alone — a 210-percent increase from 2019. The situation is so bad that the federal government has declared a state of emergency in the state of Mato Grosso.

The Pantanal region harbors over 2,000 plant species and 1,000 animal species — some of which are unique...

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