Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro angrily denied on Tuesday that there are wildfires in the Amazon rainforest.
He called the reports about it lies, although government data shows that thousands of wildfires are raging in the area.
When there was a sharp increase in forest fires in the Amazon rainforest last year, Bolsonaro also denied it. That sparked outrage worldwide. The right-wing populist president of Brazil came into serious conflict with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, among others.
The number of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest reached its highest peak in nine years in August last year. This month seems to be getting worse.
More than 10,000 fires have been observed in the first ten days this month. That is an increase of 17 percent compared to August 2019, according to government data.
In a speech to other South American leaders on Tuesday, Bolsonaro invited foreign dignitaries to fly over the rainforest.
According to him, they would not be able to see the fire. “They will not find a fire, less than a quarter acre of deforested land. This story of the Amazon going up in flames is a lie that we must fight with correct numbers,” said Bolsonaro.