Burning in October reached an area 66% larger than in 2021

The area of burned forest from January to October 2022 was 80% larger than the total registered in the 12 months of 2021

The month of October was not only hot because of the first and second round of elections, which took place at the beginning and end of the month. Between the 1st and the 30th of last month, forest fires in Brazil increased 66%, according to data from the Fire Monitor, from MapBiomas. In just 30 days, 3.4 million hectares were burned - 1.3 million hectares more than in the same month in 2021.  

No biome burned as much in October as the Cerrado, where the affected area almost tripled compared to the same month last year. 1.8 million hectares were affected by fire in the biome - an increase of 196% compared to October 2021. The increase of fires in the Amazon was also higher than the national average: 74% more than in the same month of 2021. The burned area in October this year in this biome totaled 1.3 million hectares. 

The figures from January to October this year, in turn, show that 15.2 million hectares were affected by fire in Brazil - an area larger than the state of Ceará. The growth in relation to the first 10 months of 2021 was 11%, or 1.5 million hectares more. Most of the area consumed by fire (72%) was native vegetation - mostly savannah and grassland formations. Pastures accounted for 24.5% of the area burned in the first ten months of 2022. But a significant growth was observed in forests: about 2.4 million hectares of forests were burned in Brazil from January to October 2022 - an increase of 80% in relation to the total registered in the 12 months of 2021. 

The Amazon concentrated 85% of forest fires in the first 10 months of this year. In this period, the forests of the Amazon burned nearly twice as much as was burned in forests in the region in all of 2021. Almost a third (29%, or two million hectares) of what was burned in this biome affected forests, being either fires or deforestation followed by fire. This figure was more than double, 111% larger than the forest area affected by fire in the biome in the same period in 2021 (976,000 ha). Considering the total burned area in the Amazon, and not only the forest area, the growth in relation to last year was 34%.

>> Access the monthly bulletin with October's highlights

But the biome most affected by fire in Brazil in the first ten months of 2021 is the Cerrado. Half of the area burned in the country between January and October (48%, or 7.2 million hectares) is in the Cerrado. Although this biome is half the size of the Amazon, it is almost equal to it in burned area: the Amazon accounted for 47% of the area burned in the first 10 months of the year (7.1 million hectares).  The increase in the area burned in the Cerrado in this period was 17%. 

Mato Grosso alone, accounted for one in every four hectares burned in Brazil between January and October, or 3.4 million hectares. Pará and Tocantins rank second and third, with 2.5 million hectares and 2.2 million hectares, respectively. Together, these three states account for more than half (54%) of all the burned area in Brazil this year until October.  

The three municipalities that burned the most this year are in the Amazon: São Félix do Xingu (PA), Altamira (PA) and Porto Velho (RO). Together they account for 1.1 million hectares burned, or 8% of the national total). This is an increase of 131% in relation to the 495,000 hectares burned in the same period in 2021. This increase reflects the advance of deforestation in western Pará and Rondônia.

Good news came from the Atlantic Forest and the Pantanal. The latter showed the smallest burned area in the last four years in the period between January and October this year. The Fire Monitor registered a drop of 87% in relation to the first ten months of 2021. The month of October, however, brought a burned area equivalent to twice the total burned in the previous months. The Atlantic Forest, meanwhile, had the smallest burned area since 2019, with the exception of the first months of the year (January and February), due to a fire in the region near Ilha Grande National Park.

Other highlights in Brazil in October 2022

  • 76% of the burned area in October 2022 was in native vegetation, mostly in savanna and grassland formations.Among the types of natural formations, the savannah formations were the most affected by fire, 37% of the burned area in October 2022.
  • Within the types of agricultural use, the pastures stood out, representing 21% of the burned area in October 2022.
  • The states that burned the most were Mato Grosso, Maranhão and Piauí.
  • The municipalities of Cocalinho (MT) and Novo Santo Antônio (MT) had the largest burned area.

    Other highlights in the Amazon - January to October, 2022
  • The forest formation was the type of native vegetation that burned the most in the Amazon: 29% of the burned area between January and October 2022.
  • Pasture was the land use class that burned the most, with 48% of the total area burned in the Amazon in October 2022.

    Other highlights in the Cerrado - January to October 2022

  • Almost half of the area burned in the Cerrado between January and October 2022 occurred in savanna formation (3.5 Mha, 49%).
  • The states of the MATOPIBA region (Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia) have the highest fire occurrence in the month of October in the Cerrado biome.

    Pampa Highlights - January to October 2022

  • In the summer of 2022 (January and February) a record area of fires was registered in the Pampa, with 28,039 ha.
  • On the other hand, in the period between March and October the total burned area was 1,117 ha, lower than that recorded for this same period in the three previous years.

    Caatinga highlights - October 2022

  • In Caatinga, October was the month that presented the largest burned area for the entire year 2022, with 300,000 ha burned and with an increase of 134% compared to September, mainly in the areas near the Cerrado biome and in the state of Piauí.

About the Fire Monitor:

The Fire Monitor is the monthly mapping of fire scars for Brazil, covering the period from 2019, and updated monthly. Based on monthly mosaics of Sentinel 2 satellite images with spatial resolution of 10 meters and temporal resolution of 5 days. The Fire Monitor reveals in near real time the location and extent of burned areas in all Brazilian biomes, thus facilitating the accounting of fire-related destruction. Access the Fire Monitor and the October monthly bulletin.