According to recent studies, two widespread droughts occurred in the Amazon basin, one during 2005 and one during 2010. The drought increased the prevalence of climate-driven fires over most of the basin. Given the importance of human-atmosphere-vegetation interactions in tropical rainforests, these events have generated concerns over the vulnerability of this area to climate change. This paper focuses on one of the wettest areas of the basin, Northwestern Amazonia, where the interactions between the climate and fires are much weaker and where little is known about the anthropogenic drivers of fires. We have assessed the response of fires to climate over a ten-year period, and analysed the socio-economic and demographic determinants of fire occurrence. The patterns of fires and climate and their linkages in Northwestern Amazonia differ from the enhanced fire response to climate variation observed in the rest of Amazonia. The highest number of recorded fires in Northwestern Amazonia occurred in 2004 and 2007, and this did not coincide with the periods of extreme drought experienced in Amazonia in 2005 and 2010. Rather, during those years, Northwestern Amazonia experienced a relatively small numbers of fire hotspots. We have shown that fire occurrence correlated well with deforestation and was determined by anthropogenic drivers, mainly small-scale agriculture, cattle ranching (i.e., pastures) and active agricultural frontiers (including illegal crops). Thus, the particular climatic conditions for air convergence and rainfall created by proximity to the Andes, coupled with the presence of one of the most active colonisation fronts in the region, make this region differently affected by the general drought-induced fire patterns experienced by the rest of the Amazon. Moreover, the results suggest that, even in this wet region, humans are able to modify the frequency of fires and impact these historically well preserved forests. © 2012 Armenteras, Retana.