Many of the thousands of fires burning in Brazil’s Amazon are set by ranchers. A deal inked 10 years ago was meant to stop the problem, but the ecological arson goes on as the Earth warms.
SERRA DO CACHIMBO BIOLOGICAL RESERVE, Brazil — A smoky, choking haze drifted over a lush rainforest reserve in the Brazilian Amazon last month, as fires lit by cattlemen illegally ranching on protected land spread through the jungle.
From an elevated vantage point, a dozen blazes could be spotted across an 845,000-acre nature preserve.
As damaging as these fires would be to the Serra Do Cachimbo Biological Reserve, they represented just a tiny fraction of the total number burning vast swaths of the Amazon, with 26,000 recorded in August, the highest number in a decade.