Amazon and Pampa lead the burning from January to July 2022

Data from the MapBiomas Fire Monitor show that fires increased 7% in the Amazon and 3,372% in the Pampa in the first seven months of the year

Brazil burns in the North and South of its territory. Data from MapBiomas show that 2,932,972 hectares were consumed by fires in the first seven months of the year. Although larger than the state of Alagoas, this area is 2% smaller than the area consumed by fire last year. But in the Amazon and Pampa the situation is different: these are the only biomes with an increase in the area affected by fire. In the Amazon fire reached an area of 1,479,739 hectares, while in the Pampa 28,610 hectares were burned between January and July 2022. In this period, an increase of 7% (or more than 107,000 hectares) was registered in the Amazon and 3372% in the Pampa (27,780 ha).

This data is part of the new version of the Fire Monitor, which MapBiomas launches today (08/18) on its platform. It will now use images from the European Sentinel 2 satellite, which has two important features for this type of mapping: it passes over the same point every five days, increasing the possibility of observing fires and forest fires; in addition, it has a spatial resolution of 10 meters. This adds about 20% more burnt area compared to the data from MapBiomas Fogo collection 1, which brings the fire history annually since 1985. It also allows data to be released on a monthly basis from now on.

>> Access the Fire Monitor

The MapBiomas Fire Monitor differs from and complements INPE's monitoring because it evaluates fire scars, not hotspots. The reason is simple: data from hotspots represent the occurrence of fire (and potentially contribute to its combat) but do not allow for the evaluation of the burned area. The Fire Monitor, on the other hand, reveals in almost real time (difference of one month) the location and extent of burned areas, thus facilitating the accounting of destruction that is indicated by the INPE platform's hotspots.

"This product is the only one in this frequency and resolution to provide this data on a monthly basis, which will greatly facilitate the prevention and combat of fires, indicating areas where fire has densified," explains Ane Alencar, coordinator of the MapBiomas Fire Monitor. "Besides the public power, it is a very useful tool for the private sector, such as the insurance industry, for example," she adds.

The data from the first seven months of 2022 show that three out of every four hectares burned were native vegetation, mostly in natural fields. But one fifth of all that was burned in the period was forest. Half of the scars left by fire are located in the Amazon biome, where 16% of the burned area corresponded to forest fires, that is, forest areas that should not have been burning.

Mato Grosso was the state that burned the most in the first seven months of 2022 (771,827 hectares), followed by Tocantins (593,888 hectares) and Roraima (529,404 hectares). These three states accounted for 64% of the burned area affected in the period.

In the Cerrado, the area burned between January and July 2022 (1,250,373 hectares) was 9% less than in the same period last year, but 5% more than in 2019 and 39% more than in 2020. The same pattern was identified in the Atlantic Forest, where there was a 16% decrease compared to 2021 (or 14,281 hectares), but an 11% growth compared to 2019 and 8% compared to 2020. The Pantanal, in turn, presented the smallest burned area in the last four years (75,999 hectares), with a 19% reduction from 2022 to 2021 in relation to the area burned from January to July.

Among the types of agricultural use of the areas affected by fire, the pastures stand out with 14% of the area burned in the first seven months of 2022.

The first and second places in the list of municipalities that burned the most between January and July 2022 are Normandia and Pacaraima, both in Roraima. In July 2022, the municipalities of Formosa do Araguaia and Lagoa da Confusão, in Tocantins, had the largest burned area. The latter is part of the Araguaia National Park. 

Watch the Fire Monitor launch event