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Brazilian troops begin deploying to fight Amazon fires

Updated : 2019-08-26 09:28:23

Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops on Saturday were deploying in the Amazon to fight fires that have swept the region and prompted anti-government protests as well as an international outcry. President Jair Bolsonaro also tried to temper global concern, saying that previously deforested areas had burned and that intact rainforest was spared. Even so, the fires were likely to be urgently discussed at a summit of the Group of Seven leaders in France this weekend. Some 44,000 troops will be available for "unprecedented" operations to put out the fires, and forces are heading to six Brazilian states that asked for federal help, Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo said. The states are Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins, Para, Acre and Mato Grosso. The military's first mission will be carried out by 700 troops around Porto Velho, capital of Rondonia, Azevedo said. The military will use two C-130 Hercules aircraft capable of dumping up to 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons) of water on fires, he said.

Deforestation advances into the jungle near Jaci Parana, state of Rondonia, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Deforestation advances into the jungle near Jaci Parana, state of Rondonia, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
A lumber yard is seen from the air, in the city of Jaci Parana, Rondonia state, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
A lumber yard is seen from the air, in the city of Jaci Parana, Rondonia state, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Charcoal-making furnaces and wooden planks are seen from the air, in the city of Jaci Parana, Rondonia state, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Charcoal-making furnaces and wooden planks are seen from the air, in the city of Jaci Parana, Rondonia state, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
The sun, dimmed by the pall of smoke that cover the city, rises in the city of Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
The sun, dimmed by the pall of smoke that cover the city, rises in the city of Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
In this photo released by Brazil Ministry of Defense, a C-130 Hercules aircraft dumps water to fight fires burning in the Amazon rainforest, in Brazil, Saturday, Aug, 24, 2019. (Brazil Ministry of Defense via AP)
In this photo released by Brazil Ministry of Defense, a C-130 Hercules aircraft dumps water to fight fires burning in the Amazon rainforest, in Brazil, Saturday, Aug, 24, 2019. (Brazil Ministry of Defense via AP)
In this photo released by Brazil Ministry of Defense, a C-130 Hercules aircraft dumps water to fight fires raging in Brazil's Amazon, Saturday, Aug, 24, 2019. (Brazil Ministry of Defense via AP)
In this photo released by Brazil Ministry of Defense, a C-130 Hercules aircraft dumps water to fight fires raging in Brazil's Amazon, Saturday, Aug, 24, 2019. (Brazil Ministry of Defense via AP)
Firefighters extinguish a fire in Amazon jungle in Porto Velho, Brazil August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
Firefighters extinguish a fire in Amazon jungle in Porto Velho, Brazil August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
A car drives past a burning tract of Amazon jungle in Porto Velho, Brazil August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
A car drives past a burning tract of Amazon jungle in Porto Velho, Brazil August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
A dead bird is pictured at a burning tract of the Amazon jungle in Porto Velho, Brazil August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
A dead bird is pictured at a burning tract of the Amazon jungle in Porto Velho, Brazil August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
An aerial view of forest fire of the Amazon taken with a drone is seen from an Indigenous territory in the state of Mato Grosso, in Brazil, August 23, 2019, obtained by Reuters on August 25, 2019. Marizilda Cruppe/Amnesty International/Handout via REUTERS
An aerial view of forest fire of the Amazon taken with a drone is seen from an Indigenous territory in the state of Mato Grosso, in Brazil, August 23, 2019, obtained by Reuters on August 25, 2019. Marizilda Cruppe/Amnesty International/Handout via REUTERS
A tract of the Amazon jungle burns as it is cleared by loggers and farmers in Porto Velho, Brazil August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
A tract of the Amazon jungle burns as it is cleared by loggers and farmers in Porto Velho, Brazil August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
A truck loaded with logs cut from an area of the Amazon rainforest is seen in Boca do Acre, Amazonas state, Brazil August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly
A truck loaded with logs cut from an area of the Amazon rainforest is seen in Boca do Acre, Amazonas state, Brazil August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly
A police car sits parked next to an overturned semi-trailer truck that was hauling sand, on a highway near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
A police car sits parked next to an overturned semi-trailer truck that was hauling sand, on a highway near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Electrical network workers repair an electric power pole, in the aftermath of a forest fire near the town of Robore, Bolivia, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Bolivia, along with Brazil, is struggling to contain wildfires, many believed to have been set by farmers clearing land for cultivation. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Electrical network workers repair an electric power pole, in the aftermath of a forest fire near the town of Robore, Bolivia, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Bolivia, along with Brazil, is struggling to contain wildfires, many believed to have been set by farmers clearing land for cultivation. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Smoke causes by wildfires rises from the Ipias mountains near Robore, Bolivia, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Smoke causes by wildfires rises from the Ipias mountains near Robore, Bolivia, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Neri dos Santos Silva, center, watches an encroaching fire threat after digging trenches to keep the flames from spreading to the farm he works on, in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Neri dos Santos Silva, center, watches an encroaching fire threat after digging trenches to keep the flames from spreading to the farm he works on, in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
A fire burns a field on a farm in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
A fire burns a field on a farm in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Neri dos Santos Silva, center, is silhouetted against an encroaching fire threat after he spent hours digging trenches to keep the flames from spreading to the farm he works on, in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Neri dos Santos Silva, center, is silhouetted against an encroaching fire threat after he spent hours digging trenches to keep the flames from spreading to the farm he works on, in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Trucks drive alongside scorched fields on the BR 163 highway in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Trucks drive alongside scorched fields on the BR 163 highway in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Fire consumes a field alongside the BR 163 highway in Nova Santa Helena municipality, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Fire consumes a field alongside the BR 163 highway in Nova Santa Helena municipality, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Embers from a wildfire smolder along BR 163 highway in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Embers from a wildfire smolder along BR 163 highway in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Fire consumes an area near Jaci Parana, state of Rondonia, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Fire consumes an area near Jaci Parana, state of Rondonia, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Fire consumes an area near Jaci Parana, state of Rondonia, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Fire consumes an area near Jaci Parana, state of Rondonia, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
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