Amazon fire: Causes, reactions and everything you need to know


The world’s largest tropical forest is in danger and the world is reacting.

The #PrayforAmazonas label is a worldwide trend on Twitter since the early morning of August 20, after several media confirmed that more than 500,000 hectares in 16 days have been razed by a voracious fire.

The news went viral after NASA, through its Fire Information platform for the resource management system (FIRMS), showed a satellite image with the active sources.

This is the highest rate of fire claims since the National Space Research Institute’s (INPE) Burning Program began in 2013.

According to CNN, «until August 20, INPE reported a total of 72,843 fires in Brazil, which represents an increase of more than 80 percent compared to the same period of 2018.»

CNN also confirmed that satellite images detected 9,507 new outbreaks in the Amazon basin, the world’s largest tropical forest and that it is essential to counteract global warming.

What causes fires?

According to several media outlets, the disaster in the Amazon region is due to the burns caused to deforest a land in order to turn it into a grazing area or to clean areas already deforested, usually in the dry season.

«What we are seeing is a consequence of the increase in deforestation seen in recent figures,» said Ricardo Mello, of the Amazon program of the World Wildlife Fund-Brazil, according to Semana magazine.

The non-governmental organization Institute of Environmental Research of the Amazon (Ipam, in its acronym in Portuguese), associates the increase in fire with deforestation promoted by landowners, as well as uncontrolled fires of farmers and farmers to clear sections of jungle.