Nov 28, 2019

Amazon fires: NGO denies arrested volunteers started blazes

A Brazilian NGO based in the Amazon has denied that four volunteer firefighters arrested by police had intentionally started fires in the rainforest. Earlier this year, thousands of fires ravaged the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. In September, fires in the Alter do Chão region, a popular tourist area, reportedly destroyed an area equivalent to 1,600 football pitches and took four days to be controlled by volunteers and firefighters. "We were all taken by surprise... There's nothing that justifies ," PSA founder Eugenio Scannavino told the BBC. "The accusation is absurd. We believe this is an action to reinforce this narrative that NGOs started fires and are stealing money." On Monday, Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported that protected areas in Alter do Chão were being destroyed because of real estate developments, and that federal prosecutors suspected that one of the fires had been started by land grabbers.

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