Brazil says it is successfully controlling fires in Amazon

A lush forest sits next to a field of charred trees in Vila Nova Samuel, Brazil, on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. The current fires in the Amazon were set by those who are clearing the forest for cattle ranching and crops. About 60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil. Victor R. Caivano AP Photo

WASHINGTON – Brazil’s foreign minister said his country is successfully extinguishing the fires in the Amazon region that have generated international concern after discussing the situation with President Donald Trump on Friday at the White House.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said earlier in the day that his son and Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo were heading to Washington to discuss possible U.S. aid in fighting the fires. The far-right president said he asked Trump for help and the U.S. president had said that “he couldn’t make a decision without hearing from Brazil.”

Araujo told reporters after meeting with Trump that the fires “are not an excuse to promote ideas of international management of the Amazon,” though he said the South American country is open to cooperation with other countries.

“The fires that exist today are already being fought and we are being successful in extinguishing most of the fires,” he said, adding that the meeting with Trump did not bring up specific U.S. aid.

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