Throughout 2021, Brazil reported approximately 184 thousand wildfire outbreaks, by far the highest figure in South America. Bolivia registered the second largest number of wildfires in the region that year, at over 34 thousand. On the other hand, 88 wildfires were detected in French Guiana during the period, the lowest number among South American countries and territories.
The lungs of the world
Spanning nine different countries, the Amazon rainforest makes up approximately 40 percent of South America. Predominantly encompassed by Brazil, the government has made some efforts towards protecting what is left of the world's most abundant tropical rainforest. Over five million square kilometers of land area lie under a special regime designated as the Legal Amazon in Brazil. Nevertheless, wildfires in the region remain a cause for concern. In 2021, more than 102 thousand outbreaks were registered in the Legal Amazon, accounting for over half of the country's occurrences that year.
Brazil's blind ambition
At the heart of the issue of wildfires is deforestation as a technique to expand land for farming and pastures. Along with the incremental rise in wildfires, the Amazon's deforestation rate has seen a continual increase for most of the decade. As Brazil climbs global markets to become the leading producer of soybean and beef, the country's agricultural ambitions have led to the lightening of environmental restrictions and the re-allocation of land for farming purposes. In turn, the area planted with crops in the Legal Amazon has nearly tripled since 2000. Nevertheless, these initiatives do not reflect the general Brazilian population, who, for the most part, believe in the importance of protecting the Amazon rainforest.
Number of wildfires in South America in 2021, by country or territory
Profit from the additional features of your individual account
Currently, you are using a shared account. To use individual functions (e.g., mark statistics as favourites, set
statistic alerts) please log in with your personal account.
If you are an admin, please authenticate by logging in again.
Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
INPE. (January 10, 2022). Number of wildfires in South America in 2021, by country or territory [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved October 05, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1043895/number-wildfires-south-america-country/
INPE. "Number of wildfires in South America in 2021, by country or territory." Chart. January 10, 2022. Statista. Accessed October 05, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1043895/number-wildfires-south-america-country/
INPE. (2022). Number of wildfires in South America in 2021, by country or territory. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: October 05, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1043895/number-wildfires-south-america-country/
INPE. "Number of Wildfires in South America in 2021, by Country or Territory." Statista, Statista Inc., 10 Jan 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1043895/number-wildfires-south-america-country/
INPE, Number of wildfires in South America in 2021, by country or territory Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1043895/number-wildfires-south-america-country/ (last visited October 05, 2022)