Data on fires in the Amazon

Area burned in Amazonia

This page collects data published of the extent of land burned in the Amazon biome in Brazil. The data is sourced from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). All data is in square kilometers.

Month Area burned
for the month
Area burned
trailing 12-months
Sep 2002 31914
Oct 2002 19648
Nov 2002 17052
Dec 2002 5008
Jan 2003 3528
Feb 2003 1960
Mar 2003 3295
Apr 2003 1179
May 2003 2033
Jun 2003 5810
Jul 2003 10625
Aug 2003 25943
Sep 2003 28643
Oct 2003 11775 116851
Nov 2003 10518 110317
Dec 2003 7858 113167
Jan 2004 2872 112511
Feb 2004 1553 112104
Mar 2004 1309 110118
Apr 2004 697 109636
May 2004 3275 110878
Jun 2004 7665 112733
Jul 2004 13245 115353
Aug 2004 30179 119589
Sep 2004 46587 137533
Oct 2004 16148 141906
Nov 2004 20035 151423
Dec 2004 13442 157007
Jan 2005 2023 156158
Feb 2005 855 155460
Mar 2005 806 154957
Apr 2005 1381 155641
May 2005 2162 154528
Jun 2005 3761 150624
Jul 2005 12504 149883
Aug 2005 50315 170019
Sep 2005 51457 174889
Oct 2005 16893 175634
Nov 2005 14495 170094
Dec 2005 4206 160858
Jan 2006 1261 160096
Feb 2006 535 159776
Mar 2006 826 159796
Apr 2006 868 159283
May 2006 1055 158176
Jun 2006 2206 156621
Jul 2006 5201 149318
Aug 2006 25061 124064
Sep 2006 37450 110057
Oct 2006 9673 102837
Nov 2006 8229 96571
Dec 2006 4951 97316
Jan 2007 2692 98747
Feb 2007 3277 101489
Mar 2007 1765 102428
Apr 2007 432 101992
May 2007 1329 102266
Jun 2007 2866 102926
Jul 2007 5238 102963
Aug 2007 37397 115299
Sep 2007 60887 138736
Oct 2007 22883 151946
Nov 2007 14022 157739
Dec 2007 1799 154587
Jan 2008 1410 153305
Feb 2008 721 150749
Mar 2008 798 149782
Apr 2008 638 149988
May 2008 508 149167
Jun 2008 1693 147994
Jul 2008 4507 147263
Aug 2008 17498 127364
Sep 2008 18347 84824
Oct 2008 15520 77461
Nov 2008 9499 72938
Dec 2008 3553 74692
Jan 2009 412 73694
Feb 2009 991 73964
Mar 2009 765 73931
Apr 2009 512 73805
May 2009 1870 75167
Jun 2009 1689 75163
Jul 2009 2264 72920
Aug 2009 5620 61042
Sep 2009 10748 53443
Oct 2009 12340 50263
Nov 2009 14669 55433
Dec 2009 5131 57011
Jan 2010 1358 57957
Feb 2010 1295 58261
Mar 2010 643 58139
Apr 2010 659 58286
May 2010 1782 58198
Jun 2010 2305 58814
Jul 2010 5467 62017
Aug 2010 43187 99584
Sep 2010 39324 128160
Oct 2010 10948 126768
Nov 2010 4072 116171
Dec 2010 1774 112814
Jan 2011 68 111524
Feb 2011 928 111157
Mar 2011 97 110611
Apr 2011 484 110436
May 2011 981 109635
Jun 2011 1388 108718
Jul 2011 2023 105274
Aug 2011 6630 68717
Sep 2011 13333 42726
Oct 2011 5110 36888
Nov 2011 2991 35807
Dec 2011 6524 40557
Jan 2012 2356 42845
Feb 2012 327 42244
Mar 2012 335 42482
Apr 2012 368 42366
May 2012 1223 42608
Jun 2012 2566 43786
Jul 2012 2461 44224
Aug 2012 15856 53450
Sep 2012 18648 58765
Oct 2012 8323 61978
Nov 2012 11893 70880
Dec 2012 2510 66866
Jan 2013 3967 68477
Feb 2013 114 68264
Mar 2013 652 68581
Apr 2013 295 68508
May 2013 1366 68651
Jun 2013 2287 68372
Jul 2013 1849 67760
Aug 2013 6271 58175
Sep 2013 9103 48630
Oct 2013 4323 44630
Nov 2013 3166 35903
Dec 2013 2616 36009
Jan 2014 2354 34396
Feb 2014 981 35263
Mar 2014 1001 35612
Apr 2014 343 35660
May 2014 1094 35388
Jun 2014 2177 35278
Jul 2014 2590 36019
Aug 2014 15773 45521
Sep 2014 11967 48385
Oct 2014 9391 53453
Nov 2014 8257 58544
Dec 2014 5396 61324
Jan 2015 2137 61107
Feb 2015 1474 61600
Mar 2015 338 60937
Apr 2015 552 61146
May 2015 514 60566
Jun 2015 1434 59823
Jul 2015 2589 59822
Aug 2015 15365 59414
Sep 2015 21624 69071
Oct 2015 16010 75690
Nov 2015 17602 85035
Dec 2015 14038 93677
Jan 2016 6082 97622
Feb 2016 1005 97153
Mar 2016 2948 99763
Apr 2016 911 100122
May 2016 1585 101193
Jun 2016 2175 101934
Jul 2016 4514 103859
Aug 2016 15462 103956
Sep 2016 13415 95747
Oct 2016 7007 86744
Nov 2016 7131 76273
Dec 2016 2904 65139
Jan 2017 616 59673
Feb 2017 343 59011
Mar 2017 131 56194
Apr 2017 309 55592
May 2017 898 54905
Jun 2017 1375 54105
Jul 2017 4534 54125
Aug 2017 17630 56293
Sep 2017 34057 76935
Oct 2017 9596 79524
Nov 2017 12834 85227
Dec 2017 8917 91240
Jan 2018 2133 92757
Feb 2018 1260 93674
Mar 2018 1388 94931
Apr 2018 617 95239
May 2018 896 95237
Jun 2018 1605 95467
Jul 2018 3606 94539
Aug 2018 6048 82957
Sep 2018 12852 61752
Oct 2018 6533 58689
Nov 2018 4889 50744
Dec 2018 1344 43171
Jan 2019 2983 44021
Feb 2019 1598 44359
Mar 2019 5279 48250
Apr 2019 1913 49546
May 2019 812 49462
Jun 2019 1763 49620
Jul 2019 4281 50295
Aug 2019 24944 69191
Sep 2019 16253 72592

Number of hotspots

This page collects data published of the number of hotspots recorded in the Amazon biome in Brazil. The data is sourced from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). All data is the number of hotspots recorded.

Month Hotspots recorded
for the month
Hotspots recorded
trailing 12-months
Jun 1998 1549
Jul 1998 3192
Aug 1998 20075
Sep 1998 19214
Oct 1998 8777
Nov 1998 3833
Dec 1998 2547
Jan 1999 160
Feb 1999 358
Mar 1999 130
Apr 1999 70
May 1999 449
Jun 1999 1439 60244
Jul 1999 3675 60727
Aug 1999 21525 62177
Sep 1999 16106 59069
Oct 1999 12794 63086
Nov 1999 4449 63702
Dec 1999 1703 62858
Jan 2000 87 62785
Feb 2000 182 62609
Mar 2000 405 62884
Apr 2000 92 62906
May 2000 930 63387
Jun 2000 3211 65159
Jul 2000 1510 62994
Aug 2000 12791 54260
Sep 2000 10062 48216
Oct 2000 10226 45648
Nov 2000 5497 46696
Dec 2000 3175 48168
Jan 2001 165 48246
Feb 2001 699 48763
Mar 2001 1134 49492
Apr 2001 617 50017
May 2001 916 50003
Jun 2001 4227 51019
Jul 2001 1816 51325
Aug 2001 17679 56213
Sep 2001 15528 61679
Oct 2001 14292 65745
Nov 2001 8346 68594
Dec 2001 4256 69675
Jan 2002 590 70100
Feb 2002 667 70068
Mar 2002 901 69835
Apr 2002 405 69623
May 2002 1490 70197
Jun 2002 5702 71672
Jul 2002 7529 77385
Aug 2002 43484 103190
Sep 2002 48549 136211
Oct 2002 27110 149029
Nov 2002 23660 164343
Dec 2002 9174 169261
Jan 2003 3704 172375
Feb 2003 1573 173281
Mar 2003 1997 174377
Apr 2003 1038 175010
May 2003 1983 175503
Jun 2003 6848 176649
Jul 2003 15918 185038
Aug 2003 34765 176319
Sep 2003 47789 175559
Oct 2003 25341 173790
Nov 2003 19631 169761
Dec 2003 13813 174400
Jan 2004 2178 172874
Feb 2004 805 172106
Mar 2004 1035 171144
Apr 2004 1012 171118
May 2004 3131 172266
Jun 2004 9179 174597
Jul 2004 19179 177858
Aug 2004 43320 186413
Sep 2004 71522 210146
Oct 2004 23928 208733
Nov 2004 26424 215526
Dec 2004 16924 218637
Jan 2005 4314 220773
Feb 2005 1048 221016
Mar 2005 758 220739
Apr 2005 832 220559
May 2005 1746 219174
Jun 2005 2954 212949
Jul 2005 19364 213134
Aug 2005 63764 233578
Sep 2005 68560 230616
Oct 2005 26624 233312
Nov 2005 16790 223678
Dec 2005 6966 213720
Jan 2006 1973 211379
Feb 2006 879 211210
Mar 2006 903 211355
Apr 2006 709 211232
May 2006 843 210329
Jun 2006 2522 209897
Jul 2006 6995 197528
Aug 2006 34208 167972
Sep 2006 51028 150440
Oct 2006 18309 142125
Nov 2006 17474 142809
Dec 2006 8579 144422
Jan 2007 1918 144367
Feb 2007 1761 145249
Mar 2007 1431 145777
Apr 2007 760 145828
May 2007 1176 146161
Jun 2007 3519 147158
Jul 2007 6196 146359
Aug 2007 46385 158536
Sep 2007 73141 180649
Oct 2007 28731 191071
Nov 2007 16025 189622
Dec 2007 5437 186480
Jan 2008 938 185500
Feb 2008 527 184266
Mar 2008 860 183695
Apr 2008 569 183504
May 2008 383 182711
Jun 2008 1248 180440
Jul 2008 5901 180145
Aug 2008 21445 155205
Sep 2008 26469 108533
Oct 2008 23518 103320
Nov 2008 15450 102745
Dec 2008 6145 103453
Jan 2009 1095 103610
Feb 2009 354 103437
Mar 2009 584 103161
Apr 2009 435 103027
May 2009 673 103317
Jun 2009 1023 103092
Jul 2009 2327 99518
Aug 2009 9732 87805
Sep 2009 20527 81863
Oct 2009 19323 77668
Nov 2009 19104 81322
Dec 2009 6505 81682
Jan 2010 1697 82284
Feb 2010 1147 83077
Mar 2010 1176 83669
Apr 2010 633 83867
May 2010 1026 84220
Jun 2010 1911 85108
Jul 2010 5868 88649
Aug 2010 45018 123935
Sep 2010 43933 147341
Oct 2010 14798 142816
Nov 2010 12167 135879
Dec 2010 5240 134614
Jan 2011 771 133688
Feb 2011 271 132812
Mar 2011 427 132063
Apr 2011 465 131895
May 2011 528 131397
Jun 2011 1083 130569
Jul 2011 2445 127146
Aug 2011 8002 90130
Sep 2011 16987 63184
Oct 2011 9760 58146
Nov 2011 9815 55794
Dec 2011 7632 58186
Jan 2012 1203 58618
Feb 2012 438 58785
Mar 2012 484 58842
Apr 2012 473 58850
May 2012 855 59177
Jun 2012 1875 59969
Jul 2012 3095 60619
Aug 2012 20687 73304
Sep 2012 24067 80384
Oct 2012 14814 85438
Nov 2012 13259 88882
Dec 2012 5469 86719
Jan 2013 1181 86697
Feb 2013 374 86633
Mar 2013 738 86887
Apr 2013 518 86932
May 2013 796 86873
Jun 2013 1450 86448
Jul 2013 2531 85884
Aug 2013 9444 74641
Sep 2013 16786 67360
Oct 2013 10242 62788
Nov 2013 6615 56144
Dec 2013 8013 58688
Jan 2014 1573 59080
Feb 2014 473 59179
Mar 2014 1010 59451
Apr 2014 632 59565
May 2014 673 59442
Jun 2014 1628 59620
Jul 2014 2766 59855
Aug 2014 20113 70524
Sep 2014 20522 74260
Oct 2014 13812 77830
Nov 2014 12169 83384
Dec 2014 7773 83144
Jan 2015 2042 83613
Feb 2015 1047 84187
Mar 2015 572 83749
Apr 2015 762 83879
May 2015 407 83613
Jun 2015 1287 83272
Jul 2015 2817 83323
Aug 2015 20471 83681
Sep 2015 29326 92485
Oct 2015 19469 98142
Nov 2015 16935 102908
Dec 2015 11303 106438
Jan 2016 4657 109053
Feb 2016 1559 109565
Mar 2016 2024 111017
Apr 2016 1075 111330
May 2016 895 111818
Jun 2016 1663 112194
Jul 2016 6120 115497
Aug 2016 18340 113366
Sep 2016 20460 104500
Oct 2016 14234 99265
Nov 2016 11610 93940
Dec 2016 5124 87761
Jan 2017 796 83900
Feb 2017 379 82720
Mar 2017 736 81432
Apr 2017 618 80975
May 2017 805 80885
Jun 2017 1759 80981
Jul 2017 7986 82847
Aug 2017 21244 85751
Sep 2017 36569 101860
Oct 2017 14457 102083
Nov 2017 14105 104578
Dec 2017 7985 107439
Jan 2018 1444 108087
Feb 2018 888 108596
Mar 2018 1359 109219
Apr 2018 513 109114
May 2018 772 109081
Jun 2018 1980 109302
Jul 2018 4788 106104
Aug 2018 10421 95281
Sep 2018 24803 83515
Oct 2018 10654 79712
Nov 2018 8881 74488
Dec 2018 1842 68345
Jan 2019 1419 68320
Feb 2019 1368 68800
Mar 2019 3383 70824
Apr 2019 1702 72013
May 2019 854 72095
Jun 2019 1880 71995
Jul 2019 5318 72525
Aug 2019 30901 93005
Sep 2019 19925 88127

 

  • As 2020 Amazon fire season winds down, Brazil carbon emissions rise

    - 2,500+ major blazes burned across Brazil’s Legal Amazon between late May and early November. Many were on recently deforested lands, indicative of land grabbers converting forests to pastures and croplands, while others were within conserved areas and Indigenous reserves. Of concern: 41% of burns were in standing forests.- Estimates say that nearly 5.4 million acres (2.2 million hectares) of Brazil’s Amazon standing rainforest burned this year — an area roughly the size of the country of Wales in the United Kingdom.- Brazil’s soaring deforestation rates and Amazon fires point to another problem: the nation is not on track to meet its 2020 goals under the Paris Climate Agreement for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, carbon emissions in Brazil did not fall, but rose by 9.6%, in 2019, the first year of President Jair Bolsonaro’s four-year term.- Under its UN climate commitments, Brazil is only required to measure fire-related greenhouse gas emissions from newly deforested lands, not from fires in standing forests. A questionable practice, say some critics, as fires in the Amazon are routinely set by people and escape into forests. The highest CO2 emissions from forest fires in the Amazon don’t happen during the burn, but years later, a new study concludes, complicating emission estimates.

  • Brazil reports lower deforestation, higher fires in September

    - Brazil’s national space research institute INPE reported a third straight monthly drop in Amazon deforestation in September, but its data also showed a sharp increase in the area affect by fires.- According to INPE’s deforestation alert system, deforestation in the “legal Amazon” during the month of September amounted to 964 square kilometers, down 34% from September 2019. That follows a 27% decline in July and a 21% decline in August relative to a year ago when deforestation in the region hit the highest level since 2008.- However the reported decline in recent months does not match the trend reported by Imazon, an independent NGO, which reported increases of more than 30% in July and August, but hasn’t published September analysis yet. The discrepancy could be due to the different methodologies used by the two systems, though normally INPE and Imazon’s data show strong correlation.- Since January, INPE has reported more than 7,000 square kilometers of deforestation in the Amazon, down 10% from the same period last year, but the second highest on record since 2008.

  • As Brazil burns, Indigenous fire brigades face an uncertain future

    - More than 1,000 Indigenous people volunteer as firefighters throughout Brazil, protecting 14 million hectares (35 million acres) of Indigenous lands.- However, in a year of record fires, the very continuity of the Indigenous fire brigades is at risk, with the government failing to provide the coordination, recognition, funding or support that they need.- Fire-prevention measures that were supposed to start in April, before the dry season, were instead delayed to July, once the burning had already begun, with the COVID-19 pandemic one of the factors blamed for the delay.- Insiders in the federal agencies overseeing environmental protection and Indigenous affairs also point to an official culture of neglect of Indigenous communities, which in many cases has forced Indigenous firefighters to work unpaid.

  • In a drier Amazon, small farmers and researchers work together to reduce fire damage

    - Traditional Amazonian communities have used fire for centuries to open up small farming plots in a rotational system that allows the forest to regenerate and biodiversity to be preserved.- By contrast, the fires used to clear livestock pasture or to clear away vegetation after forest clearing tend to burn uncontrolled and permanently destroy vast swaths of the rainforest.- With the climate crisis rendering the forest drier and more flammable, villagers living alongside the Tapajós River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon, have had increasing difficulty maintaining their traditional fire management practice.- Traditional safeguards such as creating fire breaks can help, but a project in the Brazilian state of Pará is bringing residents and researchers together to both create a fire warning and prediction system and transition away from the use of fire for farming.

  • The Amazon savanna? Rainforest teeters on the brink as climate heats up

    - A new study has found that 40% of the Amazon is at risk of turning into savanna due to decreases in rainfall.- The paper’s authors used satellite data, climate simulations and hydrological models to better understand the dynamics of rainfall across the tropics and their impacts on the stability of tropical forest ecosystems.- The team’s simulations suggest that sustained high greenhouse gas emissions through the end of the century could shrink the minimum size of the Amazon by 66%.

  • Forest degradation outpaces deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: Study

    - Brazilian Amazon deforestation rates have declined from, and stayed below, their 2003 peak, despite recent increases. However, this decline was offset by a trend of increased forest degradation, according to an analysis of 23 years of satellite data. By 2014, the rate of degradation overtook deforestation, driven by increases in logging and understory burning.- During the 1992-2014 study period, 337,427 square kilometers suffered a loss of vegetation, compared to 308,311 square kilometers completely cleared, a finding that has serious implications for global greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.- Forest degradation has been connected to outbreaks of infectious diseases as a result of increased contact between humans and displaced wildlife. Degradation can also facilitate the emergence of new diseases and some experts warn that the Amazon could be the source of the next pandemic.- These findings could have major implications for Brazilian national commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as international agreements and initiatives such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and REDD+, which rely on forest degradation monitoring.

  • Brazil moves toward transfer of deforestation and fire monitoring to military

    - In a recent announcement, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão defended the creation of a new agency that would have full authority over Amazon deforestation and fire monitoring satellite alerts. For three decades, INPE, Brazil’s civilian space agency, has held that role, making data publicly available.- The VP claims INPE satellite monitoring is outdated and doesn’t see through clouds. Critics of the government note that the space institute’s Prodes and Deter systems continue to provide excellent data on Amazon fires and deforestation, usable for enforcement, while clouds matter little in the dry season when most fires occur.- Critics contend that multiple moves by the government to disempower INPE are likely ways of denying transparency, ending INPE’s civil authority, and placing deforestation and fire monitoring satellites under secretive military control.- So far, an effort to fund new military satellites has failed. Meanwhile, Norway has partnered with the companies Planet and Airbus to offer free satellite images for monitoring tropical forests including the Amazon. Such publicly available images from Planet, NASA and other sources could thwart Bolsonaro’s possible attempt at secrecy.

  • Game changer: NASA data tool could revolutionize Amazon fire analysis

    - The Amazon has already seen more forest fires this year than in all of 2019, according to satellite data made available in August 2020 by a new NASA fire analysis tool.- While there are several good fire monitoring satellite systems currently at work above the Amazon, NASA’s new automated system provides near real time monitoring which could allow firefighting teams on the ground to pinpoint fires in remote areas and to take action to put fires out before they spread.- The new system also differentiates between fires in newly deforested areas, understory forest fires, grassland fires and those set by smallholders to annually clear fields. This differentiation allows authorities to zero in on large scale criminal arson committed by land grabbers, while also preventing the criminalization of subsistence farmers.- New information provided by the innovative NASA monitoring tool can count fire carbon emissions and the location and size of burnt areas, all of which could further research on global climate change, mitigation, and biodiversity impacts.

  • Rise in Amazon deforestation slows in August, but fires surge

    - Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon was more than 20 percent lower for the second straight month according to data released today by Brazil’s national space research institute INPE. But forest loss in the world’s largest rainforest remains well above the average of the past decade.- INPE’s analysis of satellite data indicates that 1,359 square kilometers of forest — an area 23 times the size of Manhattan — were cleared last month, a 20.7% drop from August 2019. That follows a 26.7% drop in July.- However INPE’s deforestation data excludes forest loss from fires. More than 1,000 major fires have been registered in the region since late May. Fires in the Amazon have accelerated rapidly in recent weeks, rising to 53 major fires per day in September, up from 18 in August and 2 in July.- Despite the relative decline during the past two months, deforestation detected by INPE’s short-term alert system has amounted to 8,850 square kilometers over the past year, 10% higher than a year ago when Amazon deforestation hit the highest level since 2008.

  • Survival of Indigenous communities at risk as Amazon fire season advances

    - The number of major Amazon fires this year has more than doubled since August 13, with most of those fires being illegal. 674 major fires were detected between May 28 and September 2, with a sharp increase inside Indigenous territories in the last two weeks, raising concerns among Indigenous leaders.- Indigenous groups are being left to fight the fires on their own, without support from government institutions. IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency has been largely stripped of funds and lacks adequate equipment to fight the blazes, while the Army, sent to the Amazon in May, is reportedly failing to suppress most fires.- Combined with COVID-19, smoke from fires poses a serious threat to Indigenous health. Native peoples have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and have weaker immune systems for respiratory disease. A recent study shows that Indigenous hospitalizations for respiratory disease coincide with deforestation rates year-by-year.- Isolated Indigenous groups are especially under threat as fires put their food sources at risk. Experts say that isolated and uncontacted groups, to fend off hunger, are sighted more often roaming during Amazon fires, potentially risking exposure to Western diseases.