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Canada pledges $15M, water bombers to fight blazes in Amazon rainforest

Canada to give $15 million, send water bombers to assist in fighting Amazon fires During his closing remarks at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France on Aug. 26, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on climate change and the Amazon wildfires. He announced that Canada will be contributing $15 million in funding, along with water bombers, to assist in putting out the blaze.

Canada will send water bombers to help fight the fires raging for roughly three weeks in the Amazon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

Speaking in a closing press conference from the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, Trudeau announced that Canada will also provide $15 million to help fight the fires, an announcement that came on the heels of French President Emmanuel Macron saying the G7 would provide $20 million ($26.5 million CAD).

The contribution by Canada is in addition to the amount announced by Macron, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said.

READ MORE: Amazon rainforest fires — what caused them and why activists are blaming Brazil’s president

Trudeau was asked by reporters why the nations at the summit had not agreed to provide more.

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“I can’t speak for my G7 partners but we are happy to announce right here, right now that Canada will be investing $15 million ourselves to these forest fires,” he said, noting that Canada’s contribution will include “sharing and sending down water bombers that are so significantly needed.”

WATCH: Drone footage shows extent of damage to portion of Amazon rainforest after wildfires

Drone footage shows extent of damage to portion of Amazon rainforest after wildfires
Drone footage shows extent of damage to portion of Amazon rainforest after wildfires

Macron announced the broader pledge earlier Monday morning.

He had pushed last week to get the fires added onto the agenda just before the meetings began.

Roughly 74,000 fires have ravaged the Amazon so far this year.

That’s an increase of more than 80 per cent compared to last year.

WATCH: International pressure mounts on Brazil to save Amazon rain forests

International pressure mounts on Brazil to save Amazon rain forests
International pressure mounts on Brazil to save Amazon rain forests

That’s led to the rainforest burning at a rate never before seen, and has prompted global outcries about the lack of action to combat the devastation of a region known as “the lungs of the earth” for its ability to absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide and produce about 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen.

Trudeau cited Canada’s recent experiences receiving help from abroad in fighting domestic wildfires in his decision to send the aid to the Amazon region.

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“There is a global network of support and friends that lean on each other whether it’s Mexican firefighters or even Australian firefighters,” he said.

“We’ve have many people come and help Canada during our difficult years and I am very happy to say we will be there to help our friends in South America.”

READ MORE: Trudeau criticized for refusing international help for Fort McMurray wildfire

More than 1,000 firefighters from the U.S., South Africa and across Canada came to Fort McMurray in 2016 to help fight the fires that devastated that community.

Trudeau was criticized at the time for refusing international offers of aid from countries like the U.S., Russia, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan and Israel, but government officials said the fire became so big, so fast that the offers wouldn’t have helped because the main factor driving the growth of the fire was the lack of rain.

That blaze ultimately lasted 459 days.

WATCH BELOW: Wildfire that ravaged Fort McMurray extinguished after 459 days

Wildfire that ravaged Fort McMurray extinguished after 459 days
Wildfire that ravaged Fort McMurray extinguished after 459 days

Both Trudeau and Macron have urged world leaders to act to combat the blazes, with Macron joining the chorus of voices last week pointing the finger at Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over his government’s removal of environmental protections.

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Bolsonaro, in turn, has blamed environmentalists for the fires without providing any evidence to support those claims.

He has accused NGOs of starting them in retaliation for him cutting their funding.

There’s been no evidence that is actually true.