I've found this data, which I'm not sure it's right. This article claims the area burnt in Amazon this year is 1,330 square miles (344,468 hectareas) Amazon rainforest fires . And this other article claims the 2018 California wildfires burnt 766,439 hectareas 2018 California wildfires . Is this so? Is the area burnt in Amazon rainforest less than half than the area burnt in 2018 California wildfires?

  • $\begingroup$ The article actually states that the area of forest lost to "development" (by which I would think they mean deliberate cutting for clear land) is 1,330 square miles, just this year, it doesn't speak to what has burned recently. No-one seems to have any firm numbers about that yet. $\endgroup$ – Ash Aug 28 '19 at 13:36

It is very likely true. Most of the fires shown on TV and in maps are not in Amazonia and not in true rainforest. Quite a lot of them are not even in Brazil. The amount of Amazonian rainforest burning is therefore relatively small, and is due to land clearance and illegal logging where the trees have been cut down and what is left allowed to dry out in the sun and then burned. Out-of-control wildfires are possible in California, but not in true rainforest, which is too damp. A few very small fires may be due to forest-dwelling natives clearing a small patch and setting fire to it for slash and burn, short-term cultivation. They will abandon it in about 5 years time when the soil is exhausted and the rainforest will gradually take over again.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ And I've just seen apparently the forest area being burnt in Siberia this year and continuing today is 7.5 times larger. $\endgroup$ – Pablo Aug 28 '19 at 15:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.