Brazilian warplanes have started dumping water on the world’s largest rainforest, which has been burning for around three weeks, as the Brazilian government finally starts responding to the global outcry over the Amazon’s destruction.
According to reports on Sunday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro authorised for military operations to be held in seven states in order to fight the raging fires in the Amazon, with the local governments of these states also calling for assistance from Bolsonaro.
Active fires were controlled and restricted to small areas of individual trees in the state capital of Porto Velho, as a firefighting brigade was called upon to take care of the area, which had areas of the size of football grounds completely destroyed by the fires.
Several areas were doused with water as jets connected to water packs mounted on their backs fought the fires, covering it with earth afterwards in order to stop any chance of it catching on fire again.
The Defence Ministry posted a video on Saturday evening showing a military plane unloading thousands of litres of water out of two large jets onto the fire, passing through the dark smoke clouds and flying right above the forest canopy.
This measure comes right after several members of the Group of Seven (G7) expressed their concern for the fires, with the Amazon being crucial to the world, both for health reasons, as well as economic ones.
During the G7 discussions, French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday stated that the group was close to reaching a deal which will provide “technical and financial help” to countries that have been affected, and are still being affected by the fires.
Mr Bolsonaro announced on Friday that the military would be sent to help combat the fires, after numerous days of criticism from the public and from world leaders for the Brazilian government’s lack of action towards stopping the fires.
He also posted on Twitter saying that he had accepted an offer from the President of Israel to get a plane and specialised support for the firefighting operations.
On Saturday, the Defence Ministry announced that 44,000 troops were available in Brazil’s northern Amazon region, yet they refrained from saying where they would be deployed and what they would actually be doing.
When asked by Reuters for additional information, the Defence Ministry stated that in all of the seven states that were affected by the fire and were actively calling for assistance, the military is planning to conduct operations in order to aid the firefighting initiatives that are already taking place.