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Drivers of Fire Anomalies in the Brazilian Amazon: Lessons Learned from the 2019 Fire Crisis

Marcus V. F. Silveira (), Caio A. Petri (), Igor S. Broggio (), Gabriel O. Chagas (), Mateus S. Macul (), Cândida C. S. S. Leite (), Edson M. M. Ferrari (), Carolina G. V. Amim (), Ana L. R. Freitas (), Alline Z. V. Motta (), Luiza M. E. Carvalho (), Celso H. L. Silva Junior (), Liana O. Anderson () and Luiz E. O. C. Aragão ()
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Marcus V. F. Silveira: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Caio A. Petri: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Igor S. Broggio: Laboratory of Environmental Sciences, Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes 28013-600, Brazil
Gabriel O. Chagas: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Mateus S. Macul: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Cândida C. S. S. Leite: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Edson M. M. Ferrari: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Carolina G. V. Amim: Institute of Science and Technology, São Paulo State University (UNESP)/National Centre for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN), São José dos Campos 12247-004, Brazil
Ana L. R. Freitas: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Alline Z. V. Motta: Department of Forestry, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri (UFVJM), Diamantina 39100-000, Brazil
Luiza M. E. Carvalho: Department of Forestry, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri (UFVJM), Diamantina 39100-000, Brazil
Celso H. L. Silva Junior: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Liana O. Anderson: National Centre for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN), São Jose dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
Luiz E. O. C. Aragão: Earth Observation and Geoinformatics Division, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil

Land, 2020, vol. 9, issue 12, 1-24

Abstract: The 2019 fire crisis in Amazonia dominated global news and triggered fundamental questions about the possible causes behind it. Here we performed an in-depth investigation of the drivers of active fire anomalies in the Brazilian Amazon biome. We assessed a 2003–2019 time-series of active fires, deforestation, and water deficit and evaluated potential drivers of active fire occurrence in 2019, at the biome-scale, state level, and local level. Our results revealed abnormally high monthly fire counts in 2019 for the states of Acre, Amazonas, and Roraima. These states also differed from others by exhibiting in this year extreme levels of deforestation. Areas in 2019 with active fire occurrence significantly greater than the average across the biome had, on average, three times more active fires in the three previous years, six times more deforestation in 2019, and five times more deforestation in the five previous years. Approximately one-third of yearly active fires from 2003 to 2019 occurred up to 1 km from deforested areas in the same year, and one-third of deforested areas in a given year were located up to 500 m from deforested areas in the previous year. These findings provide critical information to support strategic decisions for fire prevention policies and fire combat actions.

Keywords: land use change; forest fires; deforestation; water deficit; wildfires; fire activity; land tenure; MODIS MCD14DL; MapBiomas; fragmentation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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