Half the areas affected by fires in Mato Grosso are in the Amazon biome

Wildfires in Mato Grosso (Reproduction/Joédson Alves/Agência Brasil)
Carol Veras – From Cenarium

MANAUS (AM) – A survey by the Centro de Vida Institute (ICV) found that 50% of the areas affected by fires in Mato Grosso belong to the Amazon biome. The state concentrates three biomes: the Cerrado, which comes second in the ranking, with 34%; and the Pantanal, with 16%. The monitoring platform includes online maps, data dashboards and historical maps, offering a comprehensive view of environmental threats.

The data was collected by the ICV’s Territorial Intelligence system, in collaboration with the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and the Department of Lands and Registries (DTER), and released on Tuesday, 2. The frequency with which the portal is updated varies according to the data set. The main threats monitored by the portal are fire and deforestation.


The map details the main areas affected by the fires, which occur more frequently in savannah and pasture areas. Forest areas show more than 71,000 hectares affected by the flames, around 11% of the total. Last year, the portal indicated peaks of fires out of season.


One of the people in charge of the territorial intelligence system, Vinícius Silgueiros, reported that “most of the fires in 2023 happened in May, but usually this increase happens from August onwards”.


According to the panel, fires in indigenous areas account for 17% of 644,000 hectares. The areas most affected are not registered with any government agency, and include roads and regions near rivers. Among the three municipalities most affected by fires are Cáceres, with 11%; Tangará da Serra, with 10%; and Poconé, with 6%. Controlled burning is allowed on rural properties, and 14% of the records occurred in areas with authorization.


The ICV works with family farming and carries out land typology using data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). With this, they are able to measure where deforestation and fires are occurring.

The Institute also accesses databases from the state’s Environment Secretariat (SEMA), the National Rural Environmental Registry System (SICAR), the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) and the National Rural Registry System (SINCAR).

The Institute uses geotechnologies to promote an integrated understanding of territorial dynamics. These tools are applied to planning land use and forest resources, underpinning sustainable production practices and monitoring landscape transformations, with a focus on forest loss and gain.

Fires in Pantanal

After the fire season in November last year, the Pantanal is once again on alert. Between January and the beginning of June 2024, fire outbreaks in the biome increased by 974% compared to the same period in 2023.

The data comes from the National Institute for Space Research’s (INPE) Fire Program. Updated daily, the platform shows that, as of June 4, the biome had recorded 978 fires, compared to 91 in 2023.

This year’s total is the second highest in the last 15 years, behind only 2020, when 2,135 outbreaks were recorded. That year, around 30% of the biome was consumed by flames.

The Brazilian Geological Service (SGB) has reported that the Paraguay River, the main river in the region, is at its lowest level on record. Since the beginning of the year, the measuring station in Porto Murtinho (MS) has recorded heights below 250 cm, while the normal range is between 250 and 550 cm in the period.

In June, the federal government announced the launch of a pact with the governors of the Pantanal and the Amazon to fight fires, due to the projections of intense drought for the two biomes. The Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Marina Silva, said that the government would need extraordinary resources to hire firefighters and implement prevention policies.

Read also: With more than 600,000 hectares burned in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul declares an emergency

Edited by Marcla Leiros
Translated by Bruno Sena

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