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Brazilian farmer 'can't keep up' with the fires

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:30s - Published
Brazilian farmer 'can't keep up' with the fires

Brazilian farmer 'can't keep up' with the fires

Brazil's wildfires continue to burn across the Amazon and some residents - facing encroaching flames - feel they're fighting a losing battle.

Nathan Frandino has more.

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It's a scene of devastation across vast swaths of Brazil's Amazon rainforest.

The wildfires that have raged over the past six weeks have left little but charred ruins on the ground and smog in the sky....and many are still burning.

Farm hand Francicles Niastlovs says many in Mato Grosso state feel they're fighting a losing battle.

(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN FARM HAND, FRANCICLES NIASTLOVS, SAYING: "The water truck is going around over there, doing what it can, but we can't keep up, its all burning." The number of fires has skyrocketed 80 percent this year, compared to last.

Environmentalists claim most of the fires were illegally set by land speculators and ranchers... emboldened by President Jair Bolsonaro who has argued the Amazon needs to be exploited.

Many world leaders had criticized Bolsonaro for not doing enough to fight the fires.

After days of public outcry, he authorized the military to support those efforts.

His government also issued a decree to allow federal police to support environmental operations after he had previously weakened the agency responsible for enforcing environmental laws.

Meanwhile, residents are doing their best to protect their livelihood.

(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN FARM HAND, FRANCICLES NIASTLOVS, SAYING: "Over there, the fire is burning, it could burn our chickens and pigs that we have here.

We have sheep over here and horses over there in the stable." And with the dry season still far from over, many fear there may be worse to come.




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