Brazil Military Mobilizes to Fight Amazon Fires, and Restore ‘Positive Perception’ – The New York Times

But key questions have yet to be answered: how many fires will be fought, how many troops will be assigned and how much money will be spent.

Images of forest fires — including many that were several years old — set off an outcry this week as world leaders, celebrities and others raised alarm about the fate of the world’s largest rain forest.

Forest fires in the Amazon are common this time of year as newly cleared land is readied for crops or cattle-grazing, but Mr. Bolsonaro’s disdain for strict environmental policies has emboldened miners, loggers and farmers to strip and burn protected areas with a sense of impunity.

World leaders said that conservation of the Amazon is high on the agenda for leaders of the Group of 7 nations who are meeting this weekend in Biarritz, France. On Friday, President Emmanuel Macron of France threatened to block a major European trade deal with Brazil and three other South American nations.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s about-face has been greeted with skepticism. As he spoke on television Friday night, many Brazilians banged pots and pans in protest. Environmental groups said they wanted to see a more detailed plan to curb environmental degradation.

“He seemed more concerned in protecting himself than in protecting the rain forest,” Marcio Astrini, the coordinator of public policies at Greenpeace, said in a statement.


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