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Comparing the picture that delimites Amazonia from wikipedia page and the picture NASA published of the recent dramatic fires the zone is suffering, what I can appreciate is the burned zone is the periphery of the forest and not the forest itself.

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Source: Wikipedia


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Recent fires on South America, NASA.

I wonder if the absence of fires, while South America is on fire, is related with the resistance of the Amazonia to fires, being too much wet, as sugested in this question, or due to other reasons as absence of human activity on the truely wild forest.

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Most fires are probably in the periphery because they are started by humans.

They encroach on the jungle from the outside, where they already live, and there are roads instead of impenetrable jungle.

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  • $\begingroup$ I also think human activity is the main factor. But I wonder if humidity comming from Amazonia and Orinoco rivers somehow protect the forest from fires. If you accept the Wikipedia delimitation, south zone is on fire, but it looks the fire cannot penetrate into the wild forest. $\endgroup$ – user12525 Aug 27 at 13:03
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I only have personal experience of the rainforest in Malaysia (Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaya), but that experience was very extensive and included a total of about two years actually living in the jungle and patrolling it. I also had good opportunities to see it from the air. This was genuine rainforest, and only inflammable if it was cut down and dried in the sun, which now and again in small patches, it was. I have no personal experience of Amazonia, but I know that some of it is monsoon forest, which is only wet for a few months of the year. Nevertheless, some of it must be genuine primary rainforest, in which case it will be the same as Malaysian rainforest.

I suspect that some of the fires shown in your diagram are in dry areas which are not proper rainforest, and others are where the forest has been felled and dried out, then set on fire. A lot of them are not even in Brazil. The blank area is probably the real rainforest, which doesn't burn and where there is little human activity. Movement on foot is very difficult in rainforest, and also dangerous, so few people other than the natives who live there wander about in it. So the answer to your question is yes,where it is true primary rainforest,it is resistant to fire.

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  • $\begingroup$ From previous question you posted I think this is related with A) Wet forest does not burn so easily B) There are no uncontrolled barbecues at indigenous zones (they are a bit less crazy than young people from Occident :) $\endgroup$ – user12525 Aug 25 at 22:06

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