SAO PAULO, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The number of forest fire outbreaks in Brazil's southeast state of Sao Paulo jumped 109 percent so far this year compared to last year, local media reported on Wednesday.
According to data from the National Institute for Space Research, the year of 2020 has seen 4,214 fire outbreaks so far in Sao Paulo, the most populated and industrialized state in the South American country, compared to 2,015 in 2019.
Historically, the months of August and September see the most outbreaks, and from Sept. 1 to 13, 1,470 outbreaks were registered in contrast to the historical average of 796 outbreaks for the entire month.
A fire now raging in the mountainous region of the Sierra de la Mantiqueira, on the border with the neighboring state of Minas Gerais, has sparked a massive flight of animals to urban centers, according to local authorities.
The regional government has sent a contingent of 400 firefighters to try to combat the fire, which is consuming large tracts of the area's Atlantic Forest.
More fires have also broken out in other ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest to the north, and the Pantanal plain in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso. The latter has declared a state of emergency due to the fires.
In addition to drought, farmers are burning fields to prepare for new crops and livestock, according to the local government of Aguas da Prata, a town in Sao Paulo that has been hard hit by fires. Enditem