In 2019, for the first time, smoke from fires in the Amazon reached São Paulo, more than 1,600 miles southeast, and 16 volunteer firefighting brigades, from four different biomes, founded the National Network of Volunteer Brigades. In 2021, street artist Mundano and filmmaker André D’Elia took a group of artists on an expedition to meet these volunteer brigades. They drove over 6,200 miles and collected 485 pounds of ashes from four Brazilian biomes, which Mundano used to paint a massive mural, the “Ashes of the Forest”. This helped generate a fund to support the brigades during the 2021 fire season -- even as the Brazilian government slashed funding to the Ministry of Environment and firefighting in the Amazon. A reforestation fund was also started to recover ecosystems in the Atlantic Forest Biome. D’Elia hopes to release a feature documentary about the expedition and to keep raising support for the volunteer brigades, which face challenges such as lack of fuel, transportation and equipment.

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