Up until the 19th of August, the Brazilian Amazon Forrest has reportedly experienced about 72.843 fires this year. Compared with the data of the same time period within the year before, with about 39.759 cases, this marks a steep rise. These developments are founded in the renewed aggressiveness with which the big landowners lunge towards opening up fresh land for agricultural production or raising cattle by burning down formerly forested grounds.

Dia de fugo Brandkarte

Backed by the Bolsonaro government, the big landowners consider the moment ripe to lay the foundation for new land grabs. A wildlife reserve on your grounds prevents you from exploiting it to the maximum? Burn it down. Locked in from further extension of your lands by a nature preservation area? Burn it down. Once nature and wildlife destroyed and the grounds deforested, what stands in the way of agriculture or cattle breeding?

With the concrete support of the government, as can be seen for example in the current political defense of these crimes in front of the eyes of the world, the big landowners even dared to call for a “Day of fire” for the 10th and 11th of August. Not with the goal to combat fire, but rather to lay fires in a coordinated way and to promote this policy the “Day of fire” is organized. It is a political day of action called for by those already having the largest amounts of land concentrated in their hands to create the opportunity to further expand for cheap money. Naturally, those who are hit the hardest by the fires themselves are those who don’t own vast amounts of land and property, because once their houses or fields catch fire, the sole foundation for livelihood goes up is destroyed.

In Rondônia, where the current wave of fires developed first, already at least two people died, because of a fire that devastated the Galo Velho settlement on August 13. There were so many fires ablaze in this federal state, that even air traffic was impeded and had to be halted due to low visibility caused by smoke. But also other federal states, like Para which is experiencing most of the fires, are heavily effected by the fires. São Paulo was covered by smoke so much, that – in the middle of the day – it looked like during the night.