The fires in the Amazon rainforest are under control.

That was the assurance from Brazilian Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago José Antonio Gomes Piras on Tuesday, during an exclusive interview on the state of the protected forest, at his embassy offices on Sweet Briar Road, Port of Spain.

Piras said contrary to international reports of the “lungs of the earth” burning to the ground, the vast majority of the 5.5 million square kilometres of forest remains unaffected by recent flames.

“We have had problems with criminals maliciously setting fire to parts of the Amazon. Some of them have been arrested, and I can say at present, the fires are under control and Brazil remains committed to protecting the Amazon forest,” Piras told the Express, inspiring nods of agreement from his embassy’s minister consulate Felix Pires and diplomat Maria Cristina dos Anjos.

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Raging fires destroyed hundreds of acres of the Amazon in August. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was heavily criticised by seve­ral international heads of state for not doing enough to control the fires and for initially refusing aid from the G7 nations to combat the skyscraper-high flames. The G7 consists of the world’s most industrialised nations, including: Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States of America.

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