In Brazil, “slash and burn” fires set by farmers are raging out of control and covering many areas with a thick haze, sending children to hospitals with respiratory infections. August and September are the burning season in Brazil, when farmers and ranchers set fire to brush to clear land for planting or pasture; because it’s been a dry year, some 31,000 fires are burning out of control in forests and national parks across the country. The government is drastically under-equipped to battle the blazes. Meanwhile, in Peru, firefighters succeeded yesterday in containing most of a blaze that burned for two days over 220 acres in Manu National Park, considered by many to be the most biologically rich area on the planet.