Are We Entering an Age of Mega-Fires?
For millennia, people have set fires to clear land for cultivation, pastures or hunting; so-called slash-and-burn agriculture is still common across much of tropical Africa, Asia and South America. It has been a useful strategy, but it is now becoming problematic. A new Earth Institute story and documentary, shot in the Peruvian Amazon, follows the work of scientists, including IRI’s Kátia Fernandes, who are involved in the Fires in Western Amazon project. They are trying to figure out how fires get started, why some spread, why others are contained…and what the future may hold.