mandatory credit: government tv - palácio do planalto

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro addressed his country from the capital of Brasilia on Friday, vowing to take a firm approach to combat the wildfires sweeping through the Amazon rainforest.

"The Amazon forest is an essential part of our history, of our land and all the things that makes us feel Brazilian," Bolsonaro said, adding "we are a government of zero tolerance for crime, and in the environmental area it will be no different."

Bolsonaro then said that he will "authorise the operation of Guarantee of Law and Order, a real environmental GLO [a measure that allow the government to send the armed forces to specific operations]. The use of elements and equipment of the Armed Forces, and other agencies, will allow us not just to fight against the illegal activities but to stop the advance of the fires in the region."

Bolonsaro went on to call for calm, saying it is "necessary to be calm when dealing with that matter (the fires in the Amazon). To spread data and unfounded messages inside or outside Brazil, doesn't help to solve the problem, and it is being used politically and as misinformation."

Bolsonaro's comments come as protests over the handling of the wildfires have emerged not only in many cities throughout Brazil, but around the world.

So far in 2019 nearly 73,000 fires have been recorded by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, an 84 percent increase as compared to the same period last year.

Mandatory credit: Government TV - Palácio do Planalto

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