04 Dec 18

Fire damage

The lands that suffer losses with fires in Brazil undergo a long recovery process. The losses with forest fires in Brazil have taken on large proportions and generated more and more environmental and social impacts.This is because forests have a great diversity of species, in addition to having a role of extreme importance in the atmosphere, supplying oxygen and removing the carbon dioxide present in the air.

Fire fighting can be done in a variety of ways, either by eliminating the outbreaks or flammable materials present in a given environment. The money spent on the damages generated by the fires is six times greater than the amount that could be invested in the prevention of such damages. Fires in plantations and forests in Brazil have become not only a strictly environmental problem, but also an economic one.

Farmers and ranchers annually burn their land to farm and graze areas, since fire is the cheapest method of soil preparation, even though it is the most damaging. During this same period, forests become susceptible to fires and consequent national damage that are often accidentally initiated, destroying a whole balanced ecosystem.

Indirectly, the fires generate breathing problems and emission of polluting gases that end up contributing to the greenhouse effect. However, there are some contributions given by fire to farmers, such as the nutrients generated by ash. These fertilize the soil for a short time, causing a significant increase in yield and financial return. By means of the following, the fire is becoming one of the allies of the soil preparation in Brazil in small and medium.

In addition, it contributes significantly to the germination of some plant species, since they need a thermal shock so that their vegetative dormancy is broken. This happens mainly with waterproof seeds.

Then, the sudden increase of temperature ends up causing cracks, which favors the entry of water into the seed, initiating the germination process. A cost that is also related to the fires is the one related to the fences, since these can end up being destroyed completely. In addition, the metal of the wire becomes more susceptible to corrosion and ends up rusting in a short period.

Damage caused by burning in the Brazilian Amazon

A great loss generated by the fires in Brazil is related to the species of wood with high commercial value, causing large economic losses, especially when the fires hit untapped forests. The existing fires in the Amazon forest, the largest forest region in Brazil, generate costs and damages for society as a whole.

There are situations where the burnings caused in this place damage the quality of the air, equaling it to levels of great metropolises, such as the great center of the city of São Paulo. The level of toxic smoke also increases the flow of patients with respiratory problems in hospitals in the region, with symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, among other respiratory diseases.

The energy networks are often interrupted in the Amazon due to fires, generating disruptions for the population in general, as well as reaching the power supply centers. The soil, the region’s climatic system, the hydrological cycle and biodiversity are also severely affected, as the fire reaches part of the vegetation, exposing the soil to erosive fronts of rainfall, resulting in silting of rivers, floods and increased runoff of Water. The Amazon is a great Brazilian treasure, which makes it even more difficult to quantify the losses caused by fires in this region.

Costs of burnings for the rural owner

Os prejuízos que o fogo traz consigo nunca superam suas vantagens.

The damage the fire brings with it never outweighs its advantages. The constant use of fire in agricultural activities in Brazil generates a great duality. Often this is seen as a “necessary evil,” because it is a device that helps increase productivity, but can also destroy all production when poorly managed. There are also situations where spontaneous burns occur. However, most of the time, they are done intentionally for the sole purpose of eliminating invasive plants.

The high number of accidental fires is due to burning started by the landowners. However, it is estimated that 16% of the fires in the Amazon frontier, for example, are originated intentionally, being 84% incidental. On average, each rural owner loses about 2 hectares of pasture as a result of accidental fires in the Brazilian Amazon every year.

Detection and prevention of damages caused by fires in Brazil

The actions of control and prevention of the deforestation generated by the fires are carried out by the Ministry of the Environment in Brazil. These actions follow the guidelines established by the Action Plans for Prevention and Control of Deforestation, since it contains targets and measures aimed at reducing the large number of areas burned by Brazil.

The monitoring of fires and burning areas is essential for the reduction of such numbers. There is a device capable of detecting them in order to anticipate the risks and control fires in areas of vegetation.

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