The Amazon forest has been experiencing a record-breaking number of forest fires this year.
While this is a recurring event, as farmers deforest land for cattle ranching, this year saw the most fires since 2013. The fires reached such an extent that it caused a blackout in the city of São Paulo, which is 3300 kms away from the origin of the fires. In the middle of the day on Monday, the sky above São Paulo was blanketed by smoke from the wildfires raging in the Amazon region.
According to local media reports, these forest fires had been going on for several days. Josélia Pegorim, Climatempo meteorologist explained,
The smoke did not come from fires from the state of São Paulo, but from very dense and wide fires that have been going on for several days in Rondônia and Bolivia. The cold front changed the direction of the winds and transported this smoke to São Paulo.
The smoke resulting from some of these wildfires was also captured in satellite images released by NASA last week.
People are blaming Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for his negligence and inaction on the fires. Bolsonaro has also been accused of harming the Amazon rainforest and indigenous peoples in order to benefit loggers, miners and farmers who helped get him elected.
The hashtag #PrayForAmazonia is trending on Twitter, where people are talking about why this environmental phenomenon is not receiving the media coverage it should.
Horrifying that the Amazon rainforest which produces 20% of the earths oxygen has been burning to the ground for the last 3 weeks!! Where the hell is the media coverage about all of this? Our earth is dying and nobody wants to do anything about it, fucking sad. #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/95RBssUiLN— nikhilshahaney (@nikhilshahaney2) August 21, 2019
Just a reminder that the amazon rainforest has been ON FIRE. For 3 weeks with the media just barely covering it now . Think of all the wildlife and their homes that are being destroyed during this tragedy. #PrayForAmazonía pic.twitter.com/0hcYLz8HPa— 𝙴𝚖𝚖.𝚡0𝚡 (@IgTears) August 21, 2019