Bushfire at Juquery State Park
Franco da Rocha
Check the article published by National Geographic Brasil
Juquery State Park, in the municipality of Franco da Rocha, São Paulo, was affected by a bushfire of catastrophic proportions that started on august 22 and lasted 4 days. The last remnant of the savanah in the metropolitan region of São Paulo had most of its vegetation destroyed, exposing already threatened animals in the region to an even more delicate situation. The biggest fire ever recorded at the site.
The incident was triggered by the release of an unmanned balloon, considered a criminal practice in Brazil, which fell in the park. Firefighters and volunteers relentlessly fought the fire for three days, when the situation was then controlled (24) and a few park areas were preserved. New fire outbreaks emerged, but were quickly controlled in the days that followed.
Along with the work of the firefighters, the monitoring and rescue of fauna took place on the park and adjacent regions, where many animals sought refuge. In the days that followed, dozens of animals were found dead or in a vulnerable situation.
Volunteer teams supervised by the Forestry Foundation (Fundação Florestal), such as the Group for the Rescue of Animals in Disasters (GRAD), were responsible for this work that followed. Active monitoring was carried out for several days, when miles were covered by volunteers looking for injured or dead animals. All animals at risk were rescued and sent to a park headquarters for emergency procedures and also for a better evaluation. Those observed as healthy were considered suitable for reinsertion in the park's preserved areas, while the weakened animals were sent to the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Center (CRAS).
The team, made up of biologists and veterinarians, was constantly meeting to discuss the future of conservation in the park. On August 28, emergency operations were completed, but the restoration and maintenance work for the park's fauna and flora will be a long-term project.
The collection of images presented here aims to:
I- Make society aware of the risks involved with the criminal practice of releasing balloons.
II- Show the effort of volunteer teams that risk their lives to fight fires and rescue animals.
III- Raise awareness in society in relation to the lives of animals that inhabit the area.
How can you help in situations like this?
I) Help make people aware of the problem related to the release of balloons.
II) If you identify fire spots, call 193 (SP)
III) In the event of encountering wild animals that have fled the park, do not try to scare them away or hurt them. Call the forest police, fire department, or the state park office itself.
Click on the images to see the explanatory caption.