Pantanal Escapes

Discover Brazil's Wild Wonderland

This YouTube clip of a local news segment (in Portuguese) shows the impact of fire in the dry season in the Pantanal. Some start naturally, but many fires are created by ranchers and small farm holders burning fields to re-plant, or clearing new land (even though clearing of forest in the Pantanal is illegal). During the fire season peak, the large amount of smoke and particulates in the air create respiratory problems for some residents.

Members of the Brazilian environmental agency, IBAMA, try to locate and fight these fires by air - and prosecute anyone they find responsible for starting them. However, the Pantanal is a very big area, and there often isn't much that can done with a handful of people and 1 or 2 helicopters.