A large-scale Pantanal fire that started this weekend in the state of Mato Grosso doubled in size this Monday (9). According to researchers from IPAM (Amazon Environmental Research Institute) and Woodwell Climate Research Center, the estimated burned area of native vegetation and pastures went from approximately a thousand hectares in the first two days to 2,300 hectares on the next. This is the largest fire in the Pantanal Mato-grossense biome this season.
Since Saturday (7) joint efforts of private brigades and the Environmental Emergency Battalion of the Mato Grosso Fire Department work to combat and monitor the fire. Multiple strategies are being employed and the whole region is under close monitoring.
On the road
Researchers from IPAM (Amazon Environmental Research Institute) and Woodwell Climate Research Center, from the United States, are taking part in a field expedition to improve the use of data in detecting and combating fires.
“The high temperatures and strong wind during daytime favor the spread of fire, making the situation more difficult to control”, says the project coordinator and Woodwell Climate researcher Manoela Machado.
The trip coincides with the release of the new report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shows worrying data on climate extremes for South America.
“Fires release GHG and particulate material to the atmosphere, raising the temperatures and worsening air quality, with consequences to the global climate system and human wellbeing”, explains the IPAM and Woodwell Climate researcher Ludmila Rattis.
The expedition began on Friday (6) and aims to create solutions for more efficient control of fires and burning, which worsen during the dry season. It is a partnership between IPAM, Woodwell Climate and the Environmental Emergencies Battalion of the Military Fire Department of Mato Grosso and goes through three biomes: Cerrado, Pantanal and Amazônia. A travel diary is shared on IPAM’s Instagram.