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Urban Air Pollution By Wildfire In The Brazilian Amazon


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M. Steinberger


When we talk about urban air pollution the most common reference is related to the industrial and transport activities. In this paper I would like to draw the attention to the fact that these kinds of pollution are more frequently studied in regions that are economically consolidated, both in developed and developing countries, as in the cases of the Brazilian South and Southeast. However, in Brazil there are other regions, such as the Amazon and the Central Plateau, where the predominant economic activities are linked to the primary sector (forest extrativism, minning, cattle-breeding, agriculture and fishing). In that, the main urban nuclei are points of support to these activities, whose implementation, in general, requires deforestation followed by wildfire, which brings serious consequences to the urban and rural population. The recognition of this fact in the Brazilian Amazon allows to introduce, the discussion about another kind of urban air pollution which is the object of this paper: wildfire. In this sense, I intend to show its extension and its effects using the hot spots identified in the municipalities where the main urban nuclei, in demographic and economic terms, are placed. 1 Introduction The Amazon that we know today is the result of the national integration policy which defined it as an economic frontier. Hence, since the sixties of the twentienth century, the region addressed as Legal Amazon with planning objectives, has been the target of deep interventions under the command of the Brazilian National State. The aim was not to attend exclusively to new demands of the international market, but also to what was related to the economic modernization of the South-Southeast of the country. These generated changes in the pattern of extractive exploitation and in the spatial organization of regional