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An elderly farmer who set fire to an area of the rainforest around his property walks away as the fire approaches his house in an area of Amazon rainforest, in Para state
An elderly farmer who set fire to an area of the rainforest around his property walks away as the fire approaches his house in an area of Amazon rainforest, in Para state   -   Copyright  Carl de Souza/AFP

In pictures: Fires in Brazilian Amazon on the rise

Deforestation in the Amazon has hit its highest level in a decade and experts now fear that it could be even higher this year.

According to the National Institute for Space Research, between August 2019 to July 2020, almost 9,205 square kilometres were deforested. This is an increase of 34%.

Carl de Souza/AFP
Smoke rises from an illegally lit fire in Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil. August 15, 2020Carl de Souza/AFP
Carl de Souza/AFP
Aerial view of a burning area of Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso in Para state. August 16, 2020Carl de Souza/AFP

The practice of clearing the land by burning the rainforest is common among farmers in Amazon. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made promises of broader exploitation of the Amazon land a part of his campaign. Fines for illegal deforestation became less common after he took over the country.

Carl de Souza/AFP
Idelia Lima Lisboa, wife of a farmer who set fire to rainforest around his property, tries to clear a path of dry leaves as the fire approaches their house in Para stateCarl de Souza/AFP
Carl de Souza/AFP
A young boy rides his horse past an illegally lit fire in a section of Amazon rainforest, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil. August 15, 2020Carl de Souza/AFP
Carl de Souza/AFP
A farmer walks holding a scythe used for cutting branches as he approaches a burnt area of Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil. August 16Carl de Souza/AFP

One year ago so-called 'Day of Fire" that sparked raging wildfires in the Brazilian Amazons drew the world's attention to the problem.

Under the pressure from the international ecological activists Bolsonaro tried to implement the measures to stop the fires. For instance, in July the Brazilian government introduced a 120-day ban on fires in the Amazon region.

The measures have not proven to be effective so far, while Brazil's leader calls the data regarding the rising number of Amazon fires inaccurate.

Andre Penner/AP Photo
Fires consume an area near Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil. According to a local farmer, the fire was set by ranchers to clear the area for soybean cropping. August 15Andre Penner/AP Photo
Carl de Souza/AFP
A donkey stands tied up next to a burnt area of Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil. August 16, 2020Carl de Souza/AFP
Carl de Souza/AFP
View of a burnt area of Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil. August 16, 2020Carl de Souza/AFP
Andre Penner/AP Photo
Land recently burned and deforested by cattle farmers lies empty near Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil. August 16, 2020Andre Penner/AP Photo

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