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1,200 new fires identified in Amazon region this week

A smoke cloud is seen over a burnt area after a fire in the Amazon rainforest, in Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil, on August 24, 2019.
A burned area after a fire in the Amazon Rainforest in Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil, on Saturday. Photo: Joao Laet/AFP/Getty Images

Some 1,200 new fires have been identified burning in the Amazon Rainforest region this week, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported Saturday.

By the numbers: There have been 40,341 fires in the Amazon this year, per the New York Times. More than 1,330 square miles burned in the first 7 months of 2019. The largest swaths of the Amazon rainforest, in Brazil and Peru, are burning at the highest rates since records began in 2013 — a rise of 84% compared to the same period last year, according to INPE.

The big picture: Brazil began deploying 44,000 troops on Saturday to fight fires across the region, amid anti-government protests and global condemnation, with 6 states requesting military assistance, according to Al Jazeera.

  • The new fires were ignited Thursday and Friday, according to the official data.
  • The Colorado-based Global SuperTanker sent its Boeing 747-400 firefighting plane to Bolivia on Friday to help fight fires over Bolivia's portion of the rainforest, CNN reports.

Go deeper: Earth's lungs are burning