Between the California wildfires, a fire in Tasmania, and a fire that destroyed a historic Japanese castle, October was certainly a month of unfortunate blazes. Sadly, November isn’t starting off much better. A 31-mile wildfire is raging across Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands, with over 123,000 acres destroyed already. Located in the southern part of Brazil, the wetlands are among the most biodiverse regions in the world, and popular among tourists.
The fire, which began on October 25, is moving at great speed due to high temperatures and winds, and the governor has announced a 30-day moratorium on using fire for land clearance. Governor Mato Grosso do Sul said the fire was “bigger than anything seen before” in the area, and indeed, his office has stated that the situation is “critical.” Given the dangerous conditions on the ground, and poor visibility, firefighters are fighting the fire using planes, though fully extinguishing it will take some time.
This area of Brazil is no stranger to wildfires, with 8,000 separate fires recorded in the Pantanal wetlands through October 30 this year. That number is up a whopping 462 percent from the same period last year. In Brazil as a whole, over 167,000 forest fires were recorded from January until the end of October this year, including the massive Amazon fire that garnered worldwide attention.