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Local scientists weigh in on Amazon forest fires

Posted at 5:36 PM, Aug 26, 2019

GREEN BAY — Scientists at UW Green Bay say you won’t be able to feel any direct affects from the Amazon fires, such as seeing smoke or feeling warmer temperatures. But they say the fires burning could have a long-term effect on the ecosystem.

The Amazon Basin has around 2.1 million square miles of land, which 50 times more than the entire state of Wisconsin.

Scientist at the University say they don't know how many acres have been burned in the South American forest, but with the amount of fires recorded, they say it’s enough to have an impact on a large amount of habitats that could equal the size of Wisconsin or more.

One scientist said it can take years before the forest regrows from a fire.

"Forests are adapted to fire and there is a process of succession and regeneration and the forest can grow back,” UW Green Bay Professor Michael Draney. “But that is something that takes place on a least a decade scale and it might even take more than a century to bring the original rain forest back."

Draney also mentioned that the more fires continue to spread the drier the seasons becomes which only increases the chances for more fires.