Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest fell by half in September compared to September 2020, according to government data released in Brazil on Thursday.
The preliminary satellite data from Inpe, Brazil's national space research agency, shows there were 16,747 fires in the Amazon rainforest from Sept. 1 to Sept. 29, Reuters reported.
In 2020, there were more than 32,000 fires in September in the Amazon rainforest.
"Rains really helped, and at some specific areas the acting of enforcement agencies was also very relevant," said Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at Inpe who specializes in fire data.
"Thousands of fines were issued for illegal deforestation and fires in the Amazon,” he added.
Brazil’s environment minister had to step down in June this year for allegedly obstructing an investigation into illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest by the police.
The Amazon also saw more rain between Sept. 24 and Sept. 28 that helped lower the number of fires, fire bulletin data from the government showed, according to Reuters.
The reduction in wildfires is good news for right-wing President Jair Bolsanaro, who has been heavily criticized for not doing enough to protect the rainforest.
Wildfire season this year has devastated several countries around the world, including in the U.S., where the West saw thousands of buildings destroyed due to fires.