The Amazon concentrated 90% of the burned area in Brazil in January and February
MapBiomas Fire Monitor identified more than half a million hectares burned nationwide in the first two months of 2023 - 28% less than last year
Brazil lost 536 thousand hectares to fire between January and February 2023. This was 213 thousand hectares, or 28%, less than in the same period last year. Almost all of this area - 487,000 hectares, or 90% of the total - was in the Amazon. The data is from the MapBiomas Fire Monitor, which accounts for the effects of fires on the national territory using satellite images.
Roraima was responsible for 48% of all the fires burned in Brazil during this period: 259 thousand hectares. Roraima is home to the three municipalities (Pacaraima, Normandia and Amajari), as well as the three indigenous territories (São Marcos, Raposa Serra do Sol and Araçá) that burned the most in January and February. Mato Grosso and Pará are the other two states with the largest burned areas in the two months, with 90 thousand hectares and 71 thousand hectares, respectively. Together, these three states represented 79% of the total burned area in Brazil in the first two months of 2023.
"This pattern of burned area in Roraima may be related to unique climatic and environmental characteristics of the state," explains Felipe Martenexenn, a researcher at IPAM and responsible for mapping the Amazon. "Roraima is located in the northern hemisphere, while most of the other states are located in the southern hemisphere. In this way, while the dry period in most of the country occurs between the months of May and September, in Roraima the dry months occur between December and April", he details.
The second biome that burned the most in the first two months of 2023 was the Cerrado. It was 24 thousand hectares divided equally between January and February. This number is 64% higher compared to the same period in 2022 (or 9 thousand more ha).
The states that burned the most in the Cerrado were Mato Grosso (which is also one of the leaders in burned area in the Amazon) and Maranhão. About one third (32%) of the area burned in the Cerrado in the first two months of 2023 was in savanna formation (7 thousand hectares).
In the Atlantic Forest, Pantanal and Caatinga, the area burned in January and February was the smallest in the last five years. In the Atlantic Forest 4,600 hectares were burned, most of which was concentrated in agricultural areas. In the Pantanal, 8,800 hectares were burned, most of them concentrated in grassland formations and with a large burned area in the Pantanal Mato Grossense National Park. In the Caatinga, the burned area totaled 6.7 thousand hectares. In the Pampa, 4 thousand hectares were burned, 70% of which in grassland formations.
Most of the burned area in Brazil (84%) was in native vegetation, mostly in grassland formations. Among the types of agricultural use, pastureland stood out, representing 12% of the burned area.
249 thousand hectares burned in February
The analysis of the satellite images captured during February shows that 249 thousand hectares were burned throughout Brazil - a 16% decrease (48 thousand hectares less) compared to the same month in 2022. Most (87%) of the area burned in the period was native vegetation, mainly grasslands, which accounted for more than half (56%) of the area burned last month. Among the types of agricultural use, pastures stood out, representing 9% of the burned area in February 2023.
The Amazon region concentrated almost all (90%) of the area burned in Brazil in February: 230 thousand hectares. More than half (59%) of the burned area in this biome was in grasslands. Among the various land uses, the largest burned area was pasture (8%, or 15 thousand hectares).
All three states that burned the most in the period belong to this biome: Roraima, Mato Grosso and Pará. But the first alone accounted for more than half (57%) of the area burned in Brazil in February: more than 141 thousand hectares, 19% larger than the area mapped in January. Almost all of this territory (98%) is forested. Pacaraima (RR), Amajari (RR) and Normandia (RR) were the municipalities with the largest burned areas.
The Conservation Units that lead the ranking of burned area in February 2023 are: Serra da Canastra National Park (MG), Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (GO), both in the Cerrado, and Mount Roraima National Park (RR), in the Amazon.
>> Access the February Fire Monitor