Prevfogo / IBAMA firefighters and volunteers from the Terena Indigenous group work together to combat fire hotspots in the Amolar Mountains, on the border of Brazil and Bolivia, in the Pantanal biome. Image by Reinaldo Nogales / Ecoa. The rains arrived in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands in October and are helping put out fires there, but the destruction this year has been immense. A staggering 28% of the biome was consumed by fire according to the Laboratory for Environmental Satellite Applications at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, killing and injuring thousands of animals, likely including iconic wildlife such as jaguars and tapirs. While this harm is partly due to severe drought in the first part of the year, maybe intensified by escalating climate change, other factors were equally or more important, including illegal deforestation, alleged arson by cattle ranchers and lack of planning to combat the fires, according to Alcides Faria, executive director of the NGO Ecoa (Ecology and Action), who spoke to Mongabay, along with other experts. Meanwhile, in the Amazon biome, located to the Pantanal’s north, Brazil’s recently formed Amazon Council (headed by General and Vice President Hamilton Mourão), was accused of unpreparedness in coordinating operations against environmental destruction, particularly deforestation, and in fighting this year’s record fires, according to an IBAMA agent who participated in the operations led by the Armed Forces in the Amazon and who spoke to Mongabay on condition of anonymity. At the same time, environmental agencies IBAMA and ICMBio have suffered successive losses of financial resources…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer