It was another intense year for fires in the Amazon. More than 2,500 major blazes burned across Brazil’s Legal Amazon between May 28 and November 3, according to a fire season summary released via the Amazon Conservation Association’s Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP). 2020 was also the most active fire year in the southern Amazon since 2012 all along the region’s so-called “Amazon Arc of Deforestation,” according to NASA. The majority (90%) of the major fires this year detected by MAAP occurred in the Brazilian Amazon. Here, fires aren’t natural but are mostly ignited by humans on deforested lands to clear existing agricultural fields of pests and weeds, or, of far greater concern, as a way for land grabbers to convert forested conserved public lands into private agricultural lands. In 2019, say analysts, most Amazon fires followed a pattern of intentional, often illegal, deforestation to make way for cattle and crops. However, this year a startling number of major fires (41%) burned in standing Amazon rainforest, where fires were not historically naturally occurring. For fire to burn inside the rainforest, it must be a particularly dry year — now likely the result of climate change — with human ignition sources typically on neighboring lands. MAAP estimates that nearly 5.4 million acres (2.2 million hectares) of the Brazilian Amazon’s standing rainforest burned this year, an area roughly the size of the country of Wales in the United Kingdom. Major fires in Brazil in 2020 MAAP’s Amazon Fire Monitoring App is updated…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer