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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11070764

Translating Fire Impacts in Southwestern Amazonia into Economic Costs

1
National Institute for Space Research, Remote Sensing Division, Av. dos Astronautas, n1758, São José dos Campos, SP CEP: 12227-010, Brazil
2
National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters – Cemaden, Technological Park of São José dos Campos, Dr. Altino Bondensan Road, n500, São José dos Campos, SP CEP: 12247-016, Brazil
3
Federal University of ABC – Center for Engineering, Modeling, and Applied Social Sciences, Alameda da Universidade – Bairro Anchieta, São Bernardo do Campo, SP CEP: 09606-045, Brazil
4
College of Life and Environmental Sciences Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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PDF [5696 KB, uploaded 29 March 2019]
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Abstract

Between 1998 and 2017, climate-related disasters represented 91% of all occurrences worldwide, causing approximately US$ 2.245 billion of direct economic losses. In the Amazon region, fire is used as a widely spread technique for land clearing, agricultural management, hunting, and religious rituals. However, over the past 20 years, severe droughts caused a major amplification of fire occurrences, leading to several socioeconomic and environmental impacts. Particularly in Acre state, located in the southwestern Brazilian Amazon, the occurrence of extensive fires, associated with extreme climatic events, has been reported since 2005. However, fire dynamics, land tenure relationships, and associated impacts are poorly quantified. In this study, we aim to investigate the following: (1) The spatiotemporal variability of fire dynamics during anomalously dry and regular climate conditions; (2) the attribution of fire occurrence and land tenure relationship, and (3) the environmental, social, and economic impacts caused by fires and its consequences for Acre’s economy. We analyzed information on the spatial patterns of fire, its direct impacts on land use and land cover, carbon stocks, CO2 emissions, the indirect impact on human illness, and finally the costs of these impacts from 2008 to 2012. During the studied period, burned areas were concentrated around the major cities and roads, forming polygons up to 0.6 km2. However, in 2010, an extremely dry year, fires spread to remote areas, impacting protected private areas and sustainable-use conservation areas. In 2010, the total area affected by forest fires was approximately 16 times greater than in meteorologically normal years. The total economic loss estimated in 2010 was around US$ 243.36 ± 85.05 million and for the entire period, US$ 307.46 ± 85.41 million. These values represent 7.03 ± 2.45% and 9.07 ± 2.46% of Acre’s gross domestic product (GDP), respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: economic cost; environmental valuation; wildfires economic cost; environmental valuation; wildfires
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Campanharo, W.A.; Lopes, A.P.; Anderson, L.O.; da Silva, T.F.M.R.; Aragão, L.E.O.C. Translating Fire Impacts in Southwestern Amazonia into Economic Costs. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 764.

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