Despite the decrease in Amazon fires in September, smoke and drought in the region continue relentlessly

by Katie Nelson

October 2, 2023

There was a 36 percent decrease in the number of fire hotspots in September, also showing a year-to-date drop. However, a severe drought and smoke from the present fires are causing a humanitarian crisis in the region.

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL (October 2, 2023) – According to data released by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) Wildfire Program on October 1, the number of hotspots in the Amazon saw a 36 percent decrease in September compared to the same month in 2022. Despite the decrease, however, smoke covers the entire region at alarming levels, and severe drought is impacting several states in the Northern region – with 23 municipalities, as well as the entire state of Amazonas, in a state of emergency. More than 170,000 people are facing a crisis, with restricted access to basic items such as food and clean water. 

Greenpeace Brazil recently conducted an overflight of the region and captured unprecedented images. Photos of the drought in the Amazon are available in the Greenpeace Media Library.

Rômulo Batista, spokesperson for Greenpeace Brazil, said: “The extreme drought in the North of Brazil is a humanitarian crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of people and is expected to last until at least November. What we are seeing are the impacts of the climate crisis, which, combined with El Niño, are worsening an already hotter environment, exacerbated by the fires in the region. It is unacceptable to see fires and criminal deforestation while people are suffering from heat and drought, and the government must take action and stop defending and encouraging destructive industries such as mining in Indigenous Lands and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest for pasture.”

There were 26,452 hotspots recorded in the Amazon in September 2023, compared to 41,282 in the same month in 2022, according to INPE data. Amazonas, the state most affected by the drought, had the second highest number of hotspots last month, with 6,991 (26.43%) registered.


Contact: Diego Gonzaga, Communications Specialist for Greenpeace International, [email protected], +1 415 527 9440 

Katie Nelson, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, [email protected], +1 (678) 644-1681

Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more at


Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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