Monday, November 02, 2015

Brazil: wildland fire in Amazon threatens "uncontacted" tribe

Recently I have been working on finding additional sources of news affecting the wildland firefighting both in the United States and Internationally. I don’t know about you but while change does not always come easily, it can be a good thing. A good things because I find myself paying closer attention to things that I may have only giving a cursory glance, if that, a short time ago. Such is the case with a news item I saw just this morning about a forest fire that has been burning for over two months in the Amazon in the State of Maranhao in Brazil.

I don’t know much about Brazil, so I am going to take you along as I learn more about this wildfire and how the wildfire could affect the people who inhabit the region burned by the wildfire. Before I get to the wildfire itself, I’d like to ask you to read this short 2013 article and watch the accompanying seven-minute video about fighting wildland fires in Brazil: Brazil's fight against forest fires (from

What drew my attention to this particular wildfire is that the burned area is home to an isolated Brazilian tribe, known as the Awá, that has had no contact with “outsiders.” The fire has burned over 730 square miles of a region known as the Arariboia Indigenous Territory. According to Toby Nicholas who reports for Survival International:
“This designated territory is home to Awá people who have no contact with the outside world. Like all uncontacted peoples, they are extremely vulnerable to exposure to violence or disease inflicted by outsiders,” writes Nicholas (obtained on November 2, 2015 from

I’d like to draw your attention to two news sources where you can learn more about this wildfire and how the Awá people could be affected. I learned something from reading these articles and I hope that you do as well.

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