Understory fires destroyed 3% of Amazon rainforest in 12 years

06/10/2013 | Christian Science Monitor, The

NASA scientists have found that 3% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed by fires in its understory, burning more than 33,000 square miles of rainforest over a decade. The findings reveal that the fires can burn for weeks at a time at only a few feet high, spread a few feet per minute, and are typically started by humans from cigarettes, cooking fires and agricultural waste burning. NASA and academic researchers predict a more active 2013 fire season than in 2011 and 2012, according to a report released Friday.

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