On 12 October 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured an actively burning fire southeast of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Brazil, near the Ribeirão das Brancas, a river in Goiás. MODIS satellites first detected evidence of the fire on 10 October 2017; it appeared to be extinguished by 15 October 2017. Photo: Jesse Allen and Joshua Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory

By Angela Boldrini
27 October 2017

(Folha de São Paulo) – More than a quarter of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park has been consumed by the largest fire in its history.

According to the latest report, on Tuesday (24th), 64,000 hectares (about 158,000 acres) of the Park's 240,000 hectares (593,000 acres), were hit by the fire.

The fire has changed the routine in the area - one of the major tourist attractions in the State of Goiás.

Locals blame the prolonged drought (and not the fire) for minor changes in their routine, such as shorter school days at the municipal school Zeca de Faria, or the recent lack of water in part of the houses. […]

Everyone believes the fire was the result of arson.

"The person who set the fire knew what he or she was doing, in an area of the park where we were not operating, in the wind's direction, so that it would spread fast," states Christian Berlink, the ICMBio coordinator for fire fighting and fire prevention.

According to the teams, the cause is a territorial dispute, in view of the fact the national park's area was expanded in June. [more]

Volunteers Join Firefighters at Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park


Aftermath of the largest forest fire in the history of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Brazil, 26 October 2017. Photo: Flávia Davies / ICMBio

25 October 2017 (BBC News) – A fire in a national park in the state of Goias in central Brazil has destroyed almost a quarter of the protected area.

The park's director told BBC Brasil [in Portuguese] he suspected arson was the cause of the fire.

Chapada dos Veadeiros national park is a Unesco World Heritage site and famous for its biodiversity.

About 54,000 hectares (130,000 acres) have been razed by the fire so far, park officials said.

Park director Fernando Tatagiba said the fire had started inside a firebreak, an area cleared of vegetation by park officials to prevent blazes from spreading, leading him to believe it was started deliberately.

About 60,000 people visit the park annually, but due to the fire the park has been closed for visitors.

Officials said the fire was the worst in the the recent history of the park, which was created in 1961 by the president at the time, Juscelino Kubitschek.

In June, the government increased the park's size from 65,000 to 240,000 hectares, a measure welcomed by environmentalists.

The fire, which started on 17 October, has so far destroyed at least 22% of the area. [more]

Brazil's Chapada dos Veadeiros park ravaged by fire

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