October 22, 2011
Wildfires Sparked by Drought Consume Vital Habitat in Brazil
In a year that has been marked by devastating flooding, scarce rain in
other parts of the country have caused fires to ignite more easily,
including one that has devastated the Rola Moca nature reserve in the
southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
that the blaze, which began at the end of September, is the worst in the
17-year history of the 4,000 hectare sanctuary. Ninety percent of the
reserve has been consumed, with animals such as rabbits, monkeys and
endangered jaguars and wolves having fled.
The fire also forced
humans to evacuate as it approached residential areas in the Minas
Gerais capital, Belo Horizonte. In addition, large areas of Brasilia
National Park were destroyed by wildfires that also began in September,
while the nation's capital, Brasilia, endured 107 days of consecutive