MAAP #189: Amazon Fire Season Heats Up
July 19, 2023
Our newly published MAAP #189 report shows detection of over 260 major fires that have occurred thus far in 2023. Scientists have indicated that this year’s El Niño has the potential to mimic the last 2016-2017 El Niño episode, which produced the most intense Amazonian fires on record.
According to this report, a majority of these fires (54%) have occurred in the Brazilian Amazon. As for the Bolivian Amazon, 40 major fires were detected, and the vast majority (88%) have been areas that were already recently deforested to make way for new soy plantations. Additionally, 30 major fires were found in the Peruvian Amazon in high-elevation grasslands. In the Columbian Amazon, 50 major fires were detected, 100% of them burning recently deforested areas.
Thanks to our Peruvian sister organization Conservacion Amazonica – ACCA, we’ve been able to base our findings on the unique data from the real-time Amazon Fires Monitoring app they have developed. This app combines atmospheric (aerosol emissions in smoke) and ground data (heat anomaly alerts) to detect major fires in a more efficient and precise manner. This app is able to filter out smaller fires ( e.g. controlled fires for burning crops) from major fires, such as those that were detected in the above-mentioned Amazonian countries.