Brazilian troops deployed to fight Amazon fires

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Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian troops, backed by aircraft, have started fighting Amazon forest fires. The conflagration has prompted protests from environmentalists.

President Jair Bolsonaro tried to temper global concern saying that previously deforested areas had burned and that rainforest was spared.

According to reports, nearly 44,000 troops will be available for “unprecedented” operations to put out the fires.

The first mission will be carried out by 700 troops around Porto Velho, capital of Rondonia, Azevedo said.  He said the military will use two C-130 Hercules aircraft capable of dumping up to 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons) of water on fires.

The municipality of Nova Santa Helena in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state was also hard-hit. Trucks were seen driving along a highway on Friday as fires blazed and embers smoldered in adjacent fields.

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