Brazilian Airforce aircraft used 48,000 liters of water to combat fires in the Pantanal

Fire has already destroyed 688,000 hectares in the first semester, being mainly human-ignited

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | Recife (Pernambuco state) |
The KC-390 aircraft has a system that guarantees precision in water delivery - Reprodução/FAB

The Brazilian Airforce, known as FAB in Portuguese, airdropped 48,000 liters of water to extinguish a fire in the Pantanal biome, which is known worldwide for its wetlands. The operation started on Friday (28) and lasted until Saturday (29).

During the operation, FAB used a KC-390 aircraft, a model developed by the Brazilian Aircraft Company (Embraer, in Portuguese) with technical conditions to transport water. This model has a pipe that discharges water through the rear door, which can airdrop up to 12,000 liters.

The flight took about two hours. The system that the KC-390 aircraft has guarantees precision in water delivery. This aircraft model also has a tool to protect against high temperatures, thus ensuring more efficiency in fighting fires.

From January to June this year, 688,125 hectares were burned, that is, 4.56% of the biome, according to a federal government bulletin.

According to Environment Minister Marina Silva, the main cause of these fires is human activity. She traveled to the state of Mato Grosso Sul last Friday (28), accompanied by Minister Simone Tebet (Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management) and the state governor, Eduardo Riedel. The delegation followed actions to combat the Pantanal fires.

Last week, during a meeting of the Council for Sustainable Economic and Social Development, Marina Silva stressed the impact of climate change and human actions on the scale of fires in the Pantanal.

"The municipalities that deforest the most are the ones hit hardest by fires. We are living through a very unique moment in our trajectory on this planet. In 2023, we had one of the most intense years in terms of extreme weather events, with heat waves, droughts and extreme floods. That’s a clear sign that climate change is already a reality," the minister said.

Over 85 % of the burned areas are on private properties. Given this scenario, the use of fire has been banned in the Pantanal. The hardest hit city is Corumbá, with more than 348,000 hectares burned in the first half of this year.

This weekend, firefighting teams were reinforced with the arrival of a group from the National Security Force. So far, 500 professionals have been involved, including federal and state government employees.

*With information from Agência Brasil 

Edited by: Lucas Estanislau