In 10 years, stretch of Cocó has the highest concentration of fires in Fortaleza

Country/area: Brazil

Organisation: O POVO

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 20/11/2021

Credit: Cláudio Ribeiro, Alexandre Cajazeira, Miguel Pontes, Roberto Araújo e Thays Lavor


This is a collective project comprised of investigative and data journalists, researchers and data scientists.

Project description:

Between 2015 and 2020, there was a 117% increase in fire outbreaks in the capital of Ceará. There are no centralized statistics in the State on the outbreaks and occurrences of fires in the area of ​​the Cocó State Park – whether as large as this week’s or medium and insignificant. The dispersion of data can interfere with the strategy to combat the occurrences.

Impact reached:

The impact of this work is to reveal the absence of environmental monitoring in areas of environmental protection in the fifth most populous capital of Brazil, at the same time revealing inconsistent data systems, which compromises the direction of public policies aimed at environmental protection.

Techniques/technologies used:

The data used for this matter come from public databases of the Federal Government, NGOs, research institutes, among other bodies or institutions. We use satellite imagery to assess devastated areas and cross-reference with data from various environmental monitoring systems.

What was the hardest part of this project?

Time was our biggest challenge, as this material was built in 12 hours, with the objective of showing the impacts of the biggest fire in Cocó State Park – one of the largest environmental parks in Latin America – that occurred at that time.

What can others learn from this project?

Journalists can be inspired to learn to work with environmental data, qgis, python and satellite imagery and thus cover more accurate and forceful environmental issues.

Project links: