Amazon Forest Fire - What is Forest Fire, its Causes, Advantages and Concerns?

2019-08-30 | Team PendulumEdu

The recent wildfires in the Amazon broke out in early August and have been on fire since then. According to Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE), more than 70,000 fires have been detected this year, which is highest since 2013 and is up by 85% from last year. 9,507 new forest fires detected by satellite in the Amazon region in August alone. Brazil lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since January 2019. The fire was caused due to various reasons such as the onset of the dry season in July and August, Slash and Burn practice to clear the forest for farming, deforestation, etc.

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Forest Fires

Forest fires can occur in a region due to deliberative actions or accidentally. It is classified as a disaster when its intensity is such that it cannot be controlled or managed easily. Every year around 450 million hectare forest area is destroyed due to forest fires.

Causes of forest fire

The causes of a forest fire can be classified into two categories-

  • Natural causes
      • High Temperature
      • Climate Change
      • Vulnerability of Monoculture Trees
  • Anthropogenic causes- It is a well-known fact that 90% of forest fires is caused by human activity. Some of these are:
      • Shifting agriculture
      • Timber mafias
      • Deliberate acts of arson
      • Fireworks and accidents
      • Mismanagement by the forest departments


  • Forest Fire is useful for plants that require intense heat for germination, e.g., manzanita, scrub oak, jackpine, etc.
  • Forest Fire is also essential in removing exotic plants from the ecosystem so that native species can grow easily.
  • Forest Fire also destroys invasive insects and bugs that prey on trees.
  • Forest Fires rejuvenates the soil, thereby promoting the healthy growth of plants.


  • Loss of Biodiversity and ecosystem.
  • Loss of natural vegetation and plant increase the vulnerability to drought
  • Forest fire increases the emission of greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.
  • Forest fire affects not only the fauna and flora of that place but is also a threat to the indigenous communities.

Amazon rainforest:

  • The trees found here are Moist broadleaf type, which is the main feature of the tropical rainforest.
  • 60% of the Amazon rainforests are in Brazil, followed by Peru-13% and Colombia-10% and the remaining are scattered in other South American countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
  • Amazon rainforests cover an area of approximately 55,00,000 km2.
  • This region is home to approximately 16,000 species of trees and around 30 million indigenous people.
  • Amazon rainforest produces 20% of Earth’s oxygen, therefore, called “LUNGS OF THE WORLD”.

The topic of amazon forest fire and related information around it is important from the exam point of view. The exams like UPSC Civil Services, State PSC, SSC CGL and other government exams can have a question related to the amazon forest fire.

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