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Firefighters struggle to contain Amazon fire

Firefighters struggle to contain Amazon fire

Brazil

In the Brazilian state of Rondonia, firefighters struggled to contain a fast-spreading fire near a national forest reserve on Monday.

The wildfire is one of thousands of blazes that have engulfed the Amazon, known as the ‘‘lung of the planet’‘.

Locals want more action.

Why do they have an eye on the Amazon? What have they wanted there for so long?

“We have to preserve the correct amount (of forest). The government has to help the small farmers, prioritise the (forest) reserves, take care of the reserves, because people do more illegal things in the big reserves, and give a work incentive to the small farmers who are afraid of cutting down a tree on his own property to make a fence”, said 30-year old farmer, Willian Sabara Dos Santos.

On Monday, the Group of 7 nations pledged tens of million of dollars to help fight raging wildfires in the Amazon and protect rainforest.

Britain alone pledged separate $12 million and Canada will donate $11 million. Ottawa also offered to send firefighting planes to Brazil.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is questioning the motive behind the donations.

“(French President Emmanuel) Macron offers aid from rich countries to the Amazon. Does anyone help anyone, if it is not a poor person, without something in return? Why do they have an eye on the Amazon? What have they wanted there for so long?”, Bolsonaro queried.

His environment minister, Ricardo Salles, has welcomed the support. But he insists Brazil would decide how the resources will be used.

It is not clear how the new funds would be administered.

AP

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