Brazil reports progress fighting fires in Amazon rain forest

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RONDONIA STATE, Brazil (WTHR) - Brazil has been making progress in fighting forest fires raging in the Amazon rainforest for more than ten days since it sent troops there last month.

The country's military said more than 1,200 soldiers have been fighting fires in Rondonia, one of the areas hit the worst by the fires, since August 23.

A total of 40 fires have been identified at the command center, with four of the worst reportedly extinguished.

Heavy rain on Thursday helped put out some of the fires in the area.

In an effort to prevent new fires in the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian president signed a decree on August 29 banning the use of fire to clear land throughout the country for the next 60 days, but the ban doesn't include the use of fire among farmers for promoting the growth of crops.

Brazil's environmental authorities are stepping up efforts to curb illegal forest burning.

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