Brazil has banned setting fires to clear land for 60 days in response to a massive increase in the number of fires in the Amazon rainforest. 

The decree was signed by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has faced intense criticism at home and abroad for failing to protect the rainforest. 

The fires devastating parts of the Amazon rainforest have led to global scrutiny of Brazil's commitment to environmental conservation. The UN Chief Antonio Guterres yesterday mooted a meeting of key countries to drum up support to tackle the fires that have also devastated swaths of Bolivia. South American countries will meet next week to discuss the crisis. Thousands of troops and firefighters have been deployed since the weekend to combat the fires, along with two C-130 Hercules and other aircraft that are dumping water over the hardest hit areas in the country's north. 

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