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Amazon Fires and What They Mean for Tourists Wanting to Visit Brazil

September 19, 2019 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Thousands of fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest over the past year, with many environmentalists declaring that further action needs to be done to prevent the fires.According to the BBC, forest fires are common in the Amazon during the dry season (from July to October). The fires can be caused by natural occurring events, such as lightning strikes, but this year most are believed to have been started by farmers and loggers clearing land for crops or grazing.

But how bad are the Amazon rainforest fires? And is it safe to travel to Brazil?

Amazon Rainforest Fires

The Amazon rainforest attracts thousands of tourists each year and is one of the most biodiverse regions on earth.

The Amazon has 40,000 plant species and over 400 mammals, including endangered animals. There are also over 1,000 different birds and hundreds of reptiles who inhabit the Amazon’s river systems and canopy.

 However, this year there has been an alarming amount of fires according throughout the rainforest during 2019.

“The National Institute for Space Research says that its satellite data shows an increase of 76% compared to the same period in 2018,” says Ana Santos, a travel expert from REVIEWBOX, “The north of Brazil is the worst region affected by the forest fires, including Roraima, Acre, Rondônia, and Amazonas. Tourists are encouraged to avoid the northern parts of Brazil until the forest fires are contained.”

In response to criticism, the President of Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro, has announced that he has banned setting fires to clear land for 60 days. Previously, President Bolsonaro had encouraged farmers and loggers to clear big chunks of the rainforest to make room for more crops and places for animals to graze.

In the aftermath of more than 80,000 fires breaking out in the rainforest, seven South American countries have signed a rainforest protection pact due to raising concerns about the state of the Amazon.

Is it Safe to Travel to Brazil?

Yes and no. Many experts and officials are stating different things in respect to whether it is safe for tourists to visit Brazil.

Greenpeace are recommending that holidaymakers avoid places such as Novo Progresso in Para, which has seen a threefold increase of fires this year. Northern regions are most affected by the fires, including Roraima, Acre, Rondônia, and Amazonas. Amazonas is a vast state, the capital of which is Manaus, that is often considered to be the gateway to the Amazon.

Certain places are safe to visit in Brazil, but always be sure to check with your operator before you book a holiday.

Are you thinking of travelling to Brazil soon? Then you might want to consider staying at one of Bespoke Brazil’s accommodation options. Bespoke Brazil recently expanded Hotel Casana, which is a luxury beach property on the remote Brazilian north coast, and Pousada Trijunção, which is a remote eco-lodge on a private reserve in the Brazilian cerrado.

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