The Times-Tribune

Fires ravage big tropical wetlands

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Fires in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands have ripped through the biodiverse region, consuming an area the size of London in just 10 days, burning some animals alive and sending others fleeing.

The inferno in the world’s largest tropical wetlands is the latest environmen­tal disaster facing Brazil, coming after a mysterious oil spill that is afflicting beaches in the northeast and August fires in the Amazon region.

The Pantanal, which sprawls over parts of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, is a popular ecotourism destinatio­n considered one of the best places to see wildlife in South America. During the wet season, rivers overflow their banks and make most of the region accessible only by boat and plane. But this year’s dry season has extended much longer than usual.

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